He’s the billionaire tech mogul whose social network has helped to usher in an era of fake news, political hyper-polarisation and all-pervasive narcissism.
So you may think it’s a bit too late for Mark Zuckerberg to set about trying to address some of the problems he helped to create.
But the Facebook founder has made a New Year’s Resolution to engage in public ‘debates about the future, the tradeoffs we face, and where we want to go’.
Previously, Zuck made resolutions which saw him build an artificial intelligence to run his home, run 365 miles, visit every US state, read 25 books and learn Mandarin.
Now he wants to do something for the rest of humanity rather than just improving his own gilded existence.
He admitted that the rise of technology has weakened real-world communities and put the future of many people’s jobs at risk.
On his Facebook profile, Zuck wrote: ‘There are so many big questions about the world we want to live in and technology’s place in it.
‘Do we want technology to keep giving more people a voice, or will traditional gatekeepers control what ideas can be expressed? ‘Should we decentralize authority through encryption or other means to put more power in people’s hands? ‘In a world where many physical communities are weakening, what role can the internet play in strengthening our social fabric?
‘How do we build an internet that helps people come together to address the world’s biggest problems that require global-scale collaboration? ‘How do we build technology that creates more jobs rather than just building AI to automate things people do?’
That’s a lot of questions and the billionaire hopes to answer them during public debates as well as discussions on Facebook and Instagram.
He continued: ‘This will be intellectually interesting, but there’s a personal challenge for me here too. I’m an engineer, and I used to just build out my ideas and hope they’d mostly speak for themselves. But given the importance of what we do, that doesn’t cut it anymore.
So I’m going to put myself out there more than I’ve been comfortable with and engage more in some of these debates about the future, the tradeoffs we face, and where we want to go. ‘I’m looking forward to another year of learning and personal improvement, and to discussing a lot of important questions with all of you!’
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