We seem to be undergoing a further Industrial Revolution in which the physical, biological and digital worlds are coming together in the form of new technologies such as machine learning, big data, robotics and gene editing. Regulators have for some time noted the disappearance of boundaries between the various forms of communication:- "It's all now bits and bytes". But road vehicles and aircraft are nowadays little more than complex IT systems in aluminium shells. And biologists now use the same language as software engineers, using concepts such as coded instructions, signalling and control. Indeed, the genetic code in DNA uses only four chemical bases (A, C, G & T) whose sequence needs to be read, decoded, and translated into the more complex amino acid alphabet used to form proteins. "Life = Matter + Information." These developments raise interesting regulatory issues, not least because of the huge and increasing power of the technology giants, and the growing concerns - and maybe alienation - of the many now powerless in our society.
You might like to begin by looking at regulation and innovation in the round. and the need for regulation to protect those alienated from modern society. It is also worth tracking some interesting developments in international regulatory cooperation.
This is currently one of the most active regulatory areas. Here is some analysis and information:-
- There are constant criticisms of the behaviour of Facebook, Google and other massive companies.
- Is it too difficult to regulate them - or are they too powerful to be regulated?
- How have Governments and Regulators Challenged Big Tech so far?
- Social Media, Fake News & Internet Safety - How should we regulate social media so as to ensure Internet Safety without compromising freedom of expression?