Chatbots are social media on steroids – trapping us in an even more tangled web | John Naughton

July 1, 2023
Est. Reading: 1 minute


Big tech now has even more to answer for. But salvation could come from an unlikely source

In The Beginning Was The Internet, which was first switched on in January 1983 and designed from the outset as a platform for what became known as “permissionless innovation”. If you had a good idea that could be implemented using the network – and were smart enough to write the software to make it work – then the internet would do it for you, no questions asked.

In the early 1990s, the physicist Tim Berners-Lee used it as the foundation on which to build a new platform for permissionless innovation called the “world wide web”. The non-technical world discovered this new platform in 1993 and spent the next 30 years using it as the foundation on which to build lots of new things – online shopping, social media, Amazon, Google, blogging etc, etc. The web also enabled Wikipedia, an improbable project to create an encyclopedia that anyone, but anyone, could contribute to and edit, and which is now one of the wonders of the networked world.

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