Essays Tagged "Conversation"

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Re-Imagining Democracy for the 21st Century, Possibly Without the Trappings of the 18th Century

  • The Conversation
  • August 7, 2023

This essay was also published by Chron,, and UPI.

Japanese translation

Imagine that we’ve all—all of us, all of society—landed on some alien planet, and we have to form a government: clean slate. We don’t have any legacy systems from the U.S. or any other country. We don’t have any special or unique interests to perturb our thinking.

How would we govern ourselves?

It’s unlikely that we would use the systems we have today. The modern representative democracy was the best form of government that mid-18th-century technology could conceive of. The 21st century is a different place scientifically, technically and socially…

Can You Trust AI? Here’s Why You Shouldn’t

  • Bruce Schneier and Nathan Sanders
  • The Conversation
  • July 20, 2023

This essay also appeared in CapeTalk, CT Insider, The Daily Star, The Economic Times,, Fortune, GayNrd, Homeland Security News Wire, Kiowa County Press, MinnPost, Tech Xplore, UPI, and Yahoo News.

If you ask Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant AI system, whether Amazon is a monopoly, it responds by saying it doesn’t know. It doesn’t take much to make it lambaste the other tech giants, but it’s silent about its own corporate parent’s misdeeds.

When Alexa responds in this way, it’s obvious that it is putting its developer’s interests ahead of yours. Usually, though, it’s not so obvious whom an AI system is serving. To avoid being exploited by these systems, people will need to learn to approach AI skeptically. That means deliberately constructing the input you give it and thinking critically about its output…

AI Could Shore Up Democracy—Here’s One Way

  • Bruce Schneier and Nathan Sanders
  • The Conversation
  • June 20, 2023

This essay also appeared in ArcaMax, Big News Network, Biloxi Local News & Events, Chicago Sun-Times, Fast Company, GCN, Government Technology, Inkl, Macau Daily Times, MENAFN, Nextgov, and Yahoo.

It’s become fashionable to think of artificial intelligence as an inherently dehumanizing technology, a ruthless force of automation that has unleashed legions of virtual skilled laborers in faceless form. But what if AI turns out to be the one tool able to identify what makes your ideas special, recognizing your unique perspective and potential on the issues where it matters most?…

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.