Plurality: The Future of Collaborative Technology and Democracy

Book by E. Glen Weyl, Audrey Tang and ⿻ Community: “Technology and democracy today are at odds: technology reinforces authoritarian oversight and corrupts democratic institutions, while democracies fight back with restrictive regulation and public sector conservatism. However, this conflict is not inevitable. This is the consequence of choosing to invest in technologies such as AI and cryptocurrencies at the expense of democratic principles. In some places, such as the Ether community, Estonia, Colorado, and especially Taiwan, the focus has shifted to technologies that promote pluralistic collaboration, and have witnessed the co-prosperity of both democracy and technology. Written by the paradigm leaders of the Plurality, this book shows for the first time how every technologist, policymaker, business leader, and activist can use it to build a more collaborative, diverse, and productive democratic world.

When Uber arrived in Taiwan, it sparked a lot of controversy, as it has in most parts of the world. But instead of fueling the controversy, social media, with the help of vTaiwan, a platform developed with the help of cabinet ministers, encouraged citizens to share their feelings and engage in deep conversations with thousands of participants to brainstorm how to regulate online ride-hailing services. The technology, which uses statistical tools often associated with AI to aggregate opinions, allows each participant to quickly view a clear representation of all people’s viewpoints and provide feedback on their own thoughts. From the outset, a broadly supported viewpoint is brought to the forefront among a diverse group of people with different perspectives, creating a rough consensus that ensures the benefits of this new form of ridesharing while protecting the rights of the drivers, and is implemented by the government. This process has been used in Taiwan to solve dozens of controversial problems and has quickly spread to governments, cooperatives, and blockchain communities around the world…(More)”.

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