Sultan Qaboos University just published the interview I gave them about “why open source is good for your economy” in their university magazine. Read the original magazine issue (magazine copy, article copy) or my prior blog post. Finally, I have to say: Love the visuals 😉
I recently was interviewed about open source in the public sector and blogged my answers here:
- Should the public sector use open source software? 1/4
- Why did munich drop Linux and LibreOffice for Microsoft Windows and Office? 2/4
- Should the public sector consider open source only for new purchases? 3/4
- Shouldn’t a public government stay out of the software market? 4/4
t3n magazin now (liberally) translated these to German. Check it out: Ich denke, dass Software mit offenem Quelltext längst gewonnen hat. (local copy).
I have a strong aversion against letting people drag their feet from being responsible for their actions. I feel particularly strongly about this when delegating work to machines, which are not able to act using an appropriate moral value system. Starting a car and letting an autonomous driving unit take over is one such example: When faced with an impossible situation (run over an old lady or three children or commit suicide), it still has to be the driver’s decision and not a machine’s.
Ever since autonomous driving became a hot topic, I’ve tried to sell to our automotive industry partners the idea of a project to build a moral machine in autonomous driving. My definition of a moral machine (there are others) is:
At the doctor’s office, the nurse said:
“Oh, you are a professor! That is so crazy!”
I had to agree.
PS: I understand that this post may feel facetious to some. To me it is comic relief that I want to share with similarly inflicted colleagues.
There is wisdom in the second amendment of the constitution of the United States of America. A key motivation was to allow people to defend themselves against an oppressive government. Back when it was formulated, self-defense meant bearing firearms, which seems quaint today given that a government could came after you with tanks and drones. So, beyond a narrow U.S. legal interpretation, the amendment needs interpretation in a modern context. As such, it is of relevance to the world at large.
What does the right to self-defense against a potentially oppressive government mean?
You may have seen the video below by Boston Dynamics. It shows a robot dog dancing to Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars. It is fun and funny to watch, but people also expressed serious worries about robot inroads into human behavior. However, there is no explanation by Boston Dynamics and it is not at all clear whether this is a simple magic trick created to fool the onlookers or real artificial intelligence (AI) progress.
Not surprisingly, this huddling panel at the 2018 Berlin Open Data Day came to no specific conclusion, just different opinions on business models and who should earn what income.
Some nuggets of insight: Leave it to public institutions to decide for themselves — open data should be freely available, otherwise some commercial business models break down — cities should be neutral to startups and establish collaborations for everyone’s benefit — leave it to companies to generate value from open data and they will give back #muwhaha — don’t monetarize open data at all — if users don’t pay, public institutions won’t have the funds to provide open data — open data should be considered public infrastructure and follow established practices — the data belongs to the public anyway — selling data is too expensive for a city.
In related news, some cheap laughs for public institution bashing from one panelist. Personally, I find this less than helpful.
One amusing quote from another panelist:
In theory, we all agree, in practice, we do not.
I guess more sustainability research is needed.
If you think it is funny that the German government declares itself a leader in open data, please note that verbally the slide was declared as aspirational rather than current reality.