This week I noticed a story about Rita Legget, an Australian woman who had received an implant only to confess that she had “became one” with her device. But two years later she was told to remove it by the company that had implanted it because, well...they had gone out of business.
This demonstrates what I've been warning about for many years now.
That today we have three dimensions to the self:
For the most part, we have autonomy over our own psychology and biology. But the technology of the self is lent to us by tech platforms, by the 'Tyrell' Corporations of the 21st Century. They are services used by you, not attributes owned by you - and can be revoked any time for any reason.
This is the reality of a 'Terms of Service' world.
One way to avoid this is to start to build up the case for "neuro-rights" or as Nita Farahany terms it, "Cognitive Liberty". Catch the podcast episode that covers my discussion with her and the founders of neurotech companies Neurable and Neurosity here but it's worth noting that much of this human-machine symbiosis that is emerging is all to do with identity. As another implant recipient who had had to undergo removal, explained "I lost a sense of myself to some degree".
And as Rita Legget put it, "I’d lost something precious and dear to me that could never be replaced. It was a part of me.”
Generative AI is going to be yet another technology that comes to feel like it is a part of us. I had a long discussion with Josh Muncke of Faculty, the AI and decision intelligence company who suggested that:
The full conversation is coming soon on the podcast. In two weeks time in fact.
Finally in the brand new episode of the podcast, I discuss how we build trust in digital identity with Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE.
In Parliament, Chris sits on the influential Science and Technology Select Committee. But he's previously been a member of Select Committees dealing with Democracy and Digital Technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Skills, Social Mobility, and Financial Exclusion. And he is the Co Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Assistive Technology, FinTech, Blockchain, AI, and the fourth Industrial Revolution.
In our discussion, we talk exclusively about the digital identity approach of the UK government but we spend most of our time going back to basics, to talk about the importance of trust, for the adoption of any digital ID solution, whether that's in the UK or elsewhere, and the urgent need to engage more of the public in the debate too.
Listen to the latest episode with Lord Chris Holmes as it airs today
Having wrapped up four episodes specifically on digital identity management featuring Dave Birch, Cameron D'Ambrosi, Andy Tobin and now Chris Holmes, the next few episodes of the podcast will turn to Generative AI and the implications for personal identity.
I'll be chatting with one of the UK's fastest growing AI companies, a global human rights organisation, an audience guru who is teaching prompt engineering; and a company that makes some of the best digital people around.
Until next time.... thanks for reading.
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Email me email@example.com to book me to speak on the future of identity
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