New Instruments of Governance for our Societies (written 2012)

Alex Gluhak and Rob van Kranenburg:

Abstract— In this paper we argue for ICT technologies to play a more prominent role in supporting the governance of our society. The Internet together with Web2.0
technologies such as social media have enabled a shift of power towards individuals in recent years, making governance of our societies increasingly difficult with our outdated government structures. We explore the vision of how a pervasively deployed Internet of Things together with recent advances in social signal processing and persuasive technologies can enable new ways of decentralized governance. We propose new principles for the operation of future ICT devices in order to support our vision and outline how emerging technologies can contribute towards the achievement of it. While doing so, we highlight key technological and societal challenges that need to be overcome.

Keywords: Internet of Things; Persuasive technology; Societal mediation; Governance; User behavior; Decision making

“The fact is that our social future will be determined by the human qualities of the activities being mediated through hundreds of millions of programmed devices, and by our ability consciously to resonate with and thereby to recognize these qualities.- Steve Talbott (2003)