Jaron Lanier

  • Aired:  03/04/14
  •  | Views: 18,288

"Who Owns the Future?" author Jaron Lanier discusses the challenges of creating a fair and sustainable economy in the digital age. (6:01)

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A SCIENTISTAND MUSICIAN BEST KNOWN FOR

COINING THE TERM VIRTUALREALITY.

PLEASE WELCOME JARON LANIER.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )JARON, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR

JOINING ME.

GOOD TO SEE YOU.

THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

>> Stephen: SIR, YOU'RE ACOMPUTER SCIENTIST, YOU'RE A

COMPOSER, A VIRTUALARTIST AND AUTHOR.

BEST KNOWN AS THE FATHER OFVIRTUAL REALITY.

YOU WORKED AT ATARI, WHERE YOUWERE THE LEAD SCIENTIST OF THE

NATIONAL TELEEMERGENCEINITIATIVE, ENCYCLOPEDIA

BRITANNIA INCLUDES YOU IN THEIRLIST OF THE 300 GREATEST

INVENTORS, AND YOUR BOOK ISCALLED "WHO OWNS THE FUTURE?"

>> ALL OF THAT IS TRUE.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: IS IT TRUE--OKAY--

>> IS IT GOING TO GO DOWNHILLFROM HERE?

>> Stephen: YEAH.

WHO DOES-- WHO DOES OWN THEFUTURE?

>> WELL, RIGHT NOW, THOSE WHOOWN THE FUTURE ARE THE ONES WITH

THE VERY BIGGEST, MOST EFFECTIVECOMPUTERS THAT CAN GATHER

DATA, ANALYZE ITBETTER THAN ANYBODY ELSE, AND

USE IT TO CALCULATE LITTLE, TINYADVANTAGES, LIKE SLIGHTLY MORE

MANIPULATIVE LOANS OR SLIGHTLYMORE TRICKY HEALTH INSURANCE

POLICIES.

AND OVER TIME, THESE TINYADVANTAGES ACCUMULATE, AND THEN

YOU GET THIS INCREDIBLE WEALTHPOWER CONCENTRATION, WHICH IS

THE CHARACTERISTIC OF OUR TIME.

>> Stephen: AND YOU THINKTHAT'S A BAD THING?

>> YOU KNOW, I-- I BENEFITTED.

I'VE DONE GREAT -->> Stephen: AND YOU HELPED

CREATE THIS PROBLEM.

>> TOTALLY, I DID.

>> Stephen: YOU'RE FRANKENSTEIN.

YOU CAME TO WARN US ABOUT YOURMONSTER.

>> THAT'S NOT A BAD METAPHOR.

I'LL TAKE IT.

>> Stephen: OF COURSE IT'S NOT,I DID IT.

YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL.

THE MONSTER MIGHT TURN ON YOUAND TEAR YOU LIMB FROM LIMB.

>> I HAVE A DAUGHTER NOW ANDLOOK AT THE WORLD AND I THINK DO

I WANT HER TO BE IN THISPRIVILEGED RICH FAMILY WITH THE

WORLD FALLING APART ANDEVERYBODY LIVING IN INSECURITY

OR IN A SLIGHTLY LESS PRIVILEGEDFAMILY --

>> Stephen: WHAT'S UNHEALTHYABOUT THIS WORLD?

WHAT'S THE SIGN OF THE DISEASETHERE JARON?

>> REAL WEALTH IS WHEN YOUR--YOUR WEALTH IS DEPENDENT ON

EVERYBODY ELSE'S WEALTH.

REAL WEALTH IS COMMUNITYWEALTH.

IF IT'S JUST A CONCENTRATION,THAT'S FAKE WEALTH.

IT FALLS APART.

>> Stephen: WHAT ARE YOUTALKING ABOUT?

I'M AT THE TOP OF THIS PYRAMIDRIGHT NOW.

I'M AT THE TOP OF THE PYRAMID,ANOTHER RIGHT NOW?

>> IN MY CIRCLES YOU'RE NOT.

I'M SORRY, IT'S TRUE.

>> Stephen: YOU DON'T KNOW,YOU DON'T KNOW.

( LAUGHTER )( APPLAUSE )

YOU DON'T KNOW.

MAYBE I HAVE A SECRET CRIMINALENTERPRISE.

>> I'M WEARING THESE SPECIALGLASSES THAT TELL ME MORE THAN

YOU THINK.

>> Stephen: WOW.

HOLD ON.

HOLD ON.

I GOT ONE, TOO.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )SO-- BUT, OKAY, THE-- YOU KNOW,

THE MONSTER IS ON THE LOOSE.

YOU CAN'T PUT THE JEANIE BACK INTHE BOTTLE.

>> YOU KNOW, I THINK WE CANWE MADE UP THIS WHOLE INTERNET

THING, AND THIS PARTICULAR IDEAABOUT HOW TO DO OPEN CULTURE ON

IT AND OPEN ECONOMIES VERYRECENTLY.

SO THERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY TO TRYTO DO THIS BETTER.

I'M NOT SAYING I KNOW THEPERFECT ANSWER FOR IT, BUT I

THINK WE HAVE TO GIVE A SHOT.

WE HAVE TO TRY TO IMPROVE THISBECAUSE WHAT WE'RE DOING IS NOT

CREATING A SUSTAINABLE DIGITALECONOMY.

YOU HAVE TO DO THAT.

>> Stephen: YOU SAY OURMIDDLE CLASS IS DISAPPEARING,

OKAY, RIGHT?

>> YES.

>> Stephen: THE MIDDLE CLASSIS DISAPPEARING AND THE INTERNET

HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH THAT ORYOUR WHOLE DREAM OF A DIGITAL

FUTURE HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITHTHE--

>> YEAH, I THINK IT REALLY DOES.

>> Stephen: CAN'T WE JUSTBUILD A VIRTUAL REALITY WHERE

THE MIDDLE CLASS STILL EXISTS?

PUT ON THOSE OCULAR HELMETS ANDGO, LOOK, LOOK, A TWO-CAR

GARAGE?

>> I GUESS IF EVERYBODY WILL BUYIT, I GUESS THAT'S FINE WITH ME.

BUT I DON'T THINK THEY SHOULD.

I THINK PEOPLE SHOULD DEMANDMORE. WE'VE TALKED OURSELVES

INTO THIS DOUBLE ECONOMY.

WHERE IF IT'S STUFF, WE BELIEVEIN MARKETS.

IF IT'S ABOUT INFORMATION, IFIT'S ABOUT CREATIVITY--

COMEDIANS, JOURNALISTS, THINGSLIKE THAT-- THEN WE THINK IT

SHOULD BE SHARED AND SHOULD BEOPEN.

WHEN YOU BREAK THE ECONOMY INHALF LIKE THAT, EVEN THOUGH

SHARING IS LOVELY, YOUGRADUALLY PUT ALL THE

INFORMATION, WORKERS, INTO THISINFORMAL ECONOMY, A SLUM ECONOMY

OF REPUTATION, BARTER-- WHICH ISBEAUTIFUL IN ITS OWN WAY --

>> Stephen: YOU'RE SAYINGWE'RE ALL-- WE'RE ALL-- WE'RE

ALL SORT OF THE PRODUCT NOWBECAUSE AS WE PUT OUR

INFORMATION INTO THE INTERNETAND WE BECOME OUR-- OUR

INFORMATION BECOMES A COMMODITY,WE SHOULD GET PAID A LITTLE

SOMETHING FOR ALL THATINFORMATION AND THAT VALUE WE'RE

PROVIDING THESE INTERNETPROVIDERS?

>> HOW ABOUT A CONCRETE EXAMPLE?

>> Stephen: SURE.

>> LANGUAGE TRANSLATORS.

SOMEBODY TAKES THIS AND SAYS I'MGOING TO MAKE THE SPANISH

VERSION OF IT.

THOSE PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING NOW.

THEY'RE MAKING LESS MONEY THANTHEY USED TO.

BUT THE ALGORITHMS THATTRANSLATE AUTOMATICALLY THAT

TAKE AWAY A LOT OF THEIR WORK,THOSE ALGORITHMS DEPEND ON THE

SAME PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY'RECONSTANTLY CREATING THE PHRASE

EXAMPLES THAT MASH UP TO CREATETHE AUTOMATIC TRANSLATION.

THE THING IS THE PEOPLE ARESTILL NEEDED --

>> Stephen: EVENTUALLY WE'LLGET THE TRANSLATION PERFECT.

>> NO, WE WON'T.

BECAUSE LANGUAGE ISN'T FIXED.

IT KEEPS ON MOVING.

>> Stephen: IT WON'T KEEPMOVING IF ONLY ROBOTS ARE

SPEAKING IT.

( LAUGHTER )( APPLAUSE )

>> AND-- AND-- ( CHEERS ).

>>>> -- YOU KNOW WHAT?

I CAN'T ARGUE WITH THAT.

YOU SOLVED IT.

YOU SOLVED IT.

>> Stephen: I RECOMMEND YOUDON'T.

JARON, THANK YOU SO MUCH FORJOINING ME.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ).

>> Stephen: I DIDN'T GETALL OF THAT.

BUT JARON LANIER, HIS BOOK IS"WHO OWNS THE FUTURE?."

AND I THINK HE SAID THAT YOU DO.

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