Knowledge should be captured as a public good

The owners of web crawlers like Google, Baidu, Apple, Meta, SalesForce and others are happily developing new ways to exploit the data we put out there.

The data they collect has great potential value, and their use has a significant impact on the organization and social fabric. How will this development eventually integrate into society? ChatGPT is just one manifestation of the potential for social transformation that these innovations bring.

To value the general well-being


Artificial intelligence (AI) raises fundamental questions around cultural appropriation. For example, artists see their work as direct inspiration for algorithms (Van Gogh or Andy Warhol style?) and don’t see how they can continue to profit from their work if apps can copy it. them systematically.

What is the difference between a human doing the same thing and an AI doing the same thing, adopting the Maori or Haida style? They can easily imitate literary or cinematic style. Sooner or later, it will be necessary to determine in which context style can be imitated, without those who created it benefiting from it, without having their say.

The story

It won’t be long before AI will be able to perform philosophical, political, economic or other syntheses and from there determine which practices or principles are most effective and in which context. By relating principles and effects on a time scale and frequency of occurrence beyond the reach of the human mind.

The knowledge developed by mankind can be considered a common good, and it does not cease to be a common good just because the organization has the means to collect and analyze it. Of course, development, acquisition, and operational costs exist and must be paid for in the services offered, but a large part of the profit from them should be directed to the source of data and their quality.

When we talk about peoples, nations, cultural, scientific or natural heritage, we can always identify a source responsible for its creation, preservation, preservation or transmission to the present day. Humanity and planet are the last link of attribute for this moment.


To win Jeopardy in 2011, Watson collected more than 200 million pages of content. During the game, he was not allowed to access the Internet, but above all, he developed an algorithm that allowed him to estimate the probability that the conclusion drawn from the available information was correct. We are talking about technology that is already several years old. Today’s algorithms are more complex.

To develop ChatGPT, Google not only accessed the contents of the web, including Wikipedia, but also Google Scholar (academic and scholarly publications) and practically all the information at its disposal. If we ask the AI ​​a question about the source of its data, it sibilantly replies that it will only use the data learned during training until 2022, while also appreciating our comments to improve the algorithm in the future, but the computer program itself is static.

Finally, the processing of new data will be done at high frequency and will not be limited as it is now; then such service will be the foundation of any knowledge quest. Thinking about engaging in learning activities without it would be like refusing to go to the library while not using a calculator or only walking.

A person who walks alone has better mental arithmetic skills than a person who uses a vehicle, a person who calculates with a pencil, who can no longer add, who spends time reading. books improve the ability to think more than those who join Instagram, but in any case, we will see that people who use the tools have a higher potential for action and achievement than those who do not use them. ChatGPT’s computer code editing or DeepL’s translation capabilities are just examples of the benefits of using such tools.

Social transformation and lighthouses

Getting answers to their questions without searching, delaying, or checking definitely affects our mindset. We develop our ability to question, examine, experiment, and make connections on a different scale and with a different intensity. Where the concept of general well-being matters is the acquisition of knowledge. If these are private, filtered or censored, the common good is far from assured.

Determining what knowledge remains in the public domain becomes a function of social arbitrage, which is now generally the responsibility of companies and whose balance is primarily determined by criteria of profitability, social acceptability, and sometimes national laws.

The public good around knowledge goes beyond rights to content to its accessibility and the service itself. If Google or any other data aggregator decides to charge for a query or to serve “contextualized” advertising to a query, the issue of public welfare will emerge in all its starkness: individuals, ethnic groups, nations, humanity and the planet will claim. their du.

Artwork: Product by Ring, LA – 1885
National Gallery of Denmark, Denmark – CC0.


École Branchée – Martine Rioux – Attention: Artificial intelligence has arrived to change education and you should be interested in it today.é-hui/

Tech Republic – Jo Best – IBM Watson: The inside story of how the Jeopardy-winning supercomputer was born and what it wants to do next next/

Watson – IBM –

ChatGPT –

Deep Art Effects – – Geoffroy Ondet – 5 things to try with ChatGPT, the AI ​​that talks to you (almost) naturally

DeepL –

See more articles by this author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *