On the season finale of Big Tech, host Taylor Owen discusses the future of tech governance with Azeem Azhar, author of The Exponential Age: How Accelerating Technology is Transforming Business, Politics, and Society. In addition to his writing, Azeem hosts the Exponential View podcast, which, much like this podcast, looks at how technology is transforming business and society.
Taylor and Azeem reflect on some of the broad themes that have concerned them this season, from platform governance, antitrust and competition, to polarization, deliberative democracy and Web3. As listeners have come to know, Taylor often views technology’s future through a cautionary lens, while Azeem has a more optimistic outlook. They begin with the recent news of Elon Musk’s attempt to purchase Twitter and what that might mean for the platform. As the episode unfolds, Taylor and Azeem touch on the varied approaches to tech regulation around the world, and how polarization and its amplification via social media are impacting democracy. They discuss Web3’s potential to foster more transparency and trust building on the internet, as well as the need for states to be involved in shaping our future online. Ultimately, there are opportunities to make positive changes at many levels of these complex, multilayered issues. As a concluding thought, Azeem points to the coal industry as an example of how, regardless of political winds, many factors in a system can bring about change.