The Technology Think Tank Everyone Wants To Be A Part Of In 2018

The Technology Think Tank Everyone Wants To Be A Part Of In 2018

This was the question lingering on everyone’s mind on Dec. 15, when the Good Technology Collective (GTC) officially opened its doors at Soho House in Berlin. During the launch event hosted by GTC founding members, AI entrepreneurs Torben Friehe and Yann Leretaille, fireside chats were held with Annie Machon, the renowned whistleblower and former MI5 counterintelligence officer, and Anke Domscheit-Berg, a member of Germany’s parliament and an activist who grew up in Eastern Germany where she was unsuccessfully recruited by the Stasi. Each chat was followed by a lively Q&A session. All of this brings us back to the core question that the GTC will aim to address moving forward: ‘What is good technology?’” Leretaille will be the first to admit that the GTC doesn’t have an answer to that question yet. A key reason why GTC (a nonprofit) was founded, whose Council will contemplate this question and come up with educational initiatives that ensure the public has access to the right information, can demand accountability and can see to it that technology develops in a transparent way. Her husband is Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a.k.a. Daniel Schmitt, the former spokesperson of WikiLeaks - Annie Machon, former MI5 counterintelligence officer, data activist and whistleblower - Rachel Coldicutt, CEO of Doteveryone, a London-based think tank fighting for a fairer Internet - Gerd Leonhard, a top-rated futurist, author and strategic advisor - Matt McMullen, founder of RealDoll and Realbotix, the leading AI companionship startup - Ida Tin, founder of the internationally acclaimed female health app, Clue Best friends since high school, Friehe and Leretaille are both technology experts, drop-out engineers, outspoken supporters of the innovative new programming language Rust, and the co-founders of 1aim, a full-stack AI building platform. The pair opened the GTC half a year ago as a loose-knit group of academics, founders, engineers, government officials and activists when they realized that every conversation they had with friends, family and colleagues about AI, algorithms and any other frontier technology always ended up in the same place. “People are concerned with how these technologies are developing because there is very little ethical oversight in the development process,” Friehe said. “As engineers creating our own AI platform, we are operating from a privileged position.

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What is good technology? This was the question lingering on everyone’s mind on Dec. 15, when the Good Technology Collective (GTC) officially opened its doors at Soho House in Berlin. Sixty-five tech enthusiasts attended the opening of this new European “ethics in tech” think-tank in Berlin, Germany, from an array of organizations such as Udacity, Google, Charitè and iRights.Lab. I agreed to be a member of GTC back in October and I am really excited to see where the founders push it.

During the launch event hosted by GTC founding members, AI entrepreneurs Torben Friehe and Yann Leretaille, fireside chats were held with Annie Machon, the renowned whistleblower and former MI5 counterintelligence officer, and Anke Domscheit-Berg, a member of Germany’s parliament and an activist who grew up in Eastern Germany where she was unsuccessfully recruited by the Stasi. Each chat was followed by a lively Q&A session. The attendees were concerned with nontransparent state and private-sector data collection and algorithmic consumer products.

“2017 has been a tumultuous year in technology – not only in Germany but all around the world,” Leretaille said in his opening speech. “We’ve sensed its impact on our communities in both positive and negative ways. Many of us have once again felt the urgency to ask if technology is developing in an ethical and accountable way at a crucial moment when frontier technologies like AI and algorithms start to redefine our society. All of this brings us back to the core question that the GTC will aim to address moving forward: ‘What is good technology?’”

Leretaille will be the first to admit that the GTC doesn’t have an answer to that question yet. A key reason why…

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