Here's a bet:
Again and again, he was asked whether he was opposed to regulation.
"You embrace regulation?" asked Sen.
"I think the real question, as the internet becomes more important in people's lives, is what is the right regulation, not whether there should be or not," Zuckerberg responded.
Many are focusing (understandably) on Zuckerberg's stance on the countless and complex free-speech issues raised by
"Can you define hate speech?" Sasse asked.
Zuckerberg admitted that beyond calls for violence, he couldn't come up with a definition of the sort of speech that should be banned by an algorithm.
Added Zuckerberg: "I do generally agree with the point that ... as we're able to technologically shift toward especially having AI proactively look at content, I think that that's going to create massive questions for society about what kinds of obligations we want to require companies to fulfill."
That is both an impressive understatement and a topic we'll all be returning to often in the years to come.
But let's assume Zuckerberg is correct. In the future, much of our speech will be policed by our robot overlords.
As Zuckerberg hinted more than a few times, political leaders will need to get involved in the regulation and administration of how these AI systems will work. We'll probably set up some new agency or a new division of the FCC to provide oversight.
And which company will have the loudest voice in the drafting of these new rules? If history is any guide, the obvious answer is ...
The standard story of the Progressive Era, taught to high school kids and college students alike, is that the government has come to the rescue time and again to curtail the excesses of irresponsible, selfish or otherwise dastardly big businesses.
Left out of this tale of enlightened regulation is that the meat-packing industry wanted to be regulated -- something even Sinclair admitted.
"The Federal inspection of meat was, historically, established at the packers' request," Sinclair wrote in 1906. "It is maintained and paid for by the people of
The famous trusts were no different. In 1909,
The story repeated itself during the New Deal. The "malefactors of great wealth" that FDR demonized welcomed government regulation. Famed lawyer
Why would the titans of capitalism welcome regulation? Because regulation is the best protection against competition. It stabilizes prices, eliminates uncertainty and writes profits into law -- which is why
I don't know what the regulation of
Regardless, I have confidence that when all is said and done,