This week, I took part in a Battle of Ideas debate at the UK Space Conference in Liverpool exploring the Internet of Things and its transformative potential. It was a pretty far reaching debate, but my main argument focused on the need to step back and imagine a world where the IoT is not imagined as something in the service of humanity, but something which may serve a wider notion of ecosystem well being. This doesn't mean ignoring the desires and needs of humans, but instead trying to come to terms with what might be afforded by this technology if we adopted a wider perspective. I went on to advocate the need to think about an 'Interstellarnet of Things', which takes us beyond the confines of our planet in imagining the potential of this technology, along with the importance of thinking about some of the consequences of artificial general intelligence and the possibility that objects becoming sentient. In this regard, the idea of an Internet of Things at all misses the point - they will not be things, but beings, entities which may have a certain moral status by virtue of its capacity for volition or self-actualization.
Finally, I talked about the importance of the open data initiative and the need to overhaul some of the conventions operating around digital platforms which restrict our freedom to roam by precluding us from exporting our data into some universal language.