Paper by Jessica Feldman:”This scoping paper considers how digital tools, such as ICTs and AI, have failed to contribute to the “common good” in any sustained or scalable way. This is attributed to a problem that is at once political-economic and technical.
Many digital tools’ business models are predicated on advertising: framing the user as an individual consumer-to-be-targeted, not as an organization, movement, or any sort of commons. At the level of infrastructure and hardware, the increased privatization and centralization of transmission and production leads to a dangerous bottlenecking of communication power, and to labor and production practices that are undemocratic and damaging to common resources.
These practices escalate collective action problems, pose a threat to democratic decision making, aggravate issues of economic and labor inequality, and harm the environment and health. At the same time, the growth of both AI and online community formation raise questions around the very definition of human subjectivity and modes of relationality. Based on an operational definition of the common good grounded in ethics of care, sustainability, and redistributive justice, suggestions are made for solutions and further research in the areas of participatory design, digital democracy, digital labor, and environmental sustainability….(More)”