A Revolution In Your Pocket

The Vision

There is the potential today to reclaim control of our digital lives from monopolist platforms and unnecessary rent-seeking. There is a world within reach where always-on, always-connected pocket computers become personal data stores. All your photos, documents, messages, and other data live with you, not on a faceless server belonging to a random corporation. The only machine learning done is done for you. Data only leaves your device because you want to send it somewhere. Here’s what it might look like:

  • What we call a phone today will transition even further toward a general computing and communications device
  • Our data will stay on our mobile computers and be backed up (encrypted of course) in the cloud
  • We will carry with us the fundamental representation of our identity, backed and verified by advanced encryption, instead of cumbersome passwords or logins associated with the same large platforms that control our social lives
  • Sharing of data, either broadly with a large group or directly person to person, will happen directly between mobile computers, skipping the intermediaries like Facebook or Twitter we’re used to today
  • Where possible, that sharing will take place over pervasive locally formed networks, without needing the internet
  • Artificial assistance will be local first – for example, searches for the best nearby coffee shop will turn to the nearby network for responses before asking the entire planet
  • Machine learning will provide personalized intelligent assistance that runs on your own mobile computer

Something to chew on. I’m not in a position to turn down anyone’s plan at this point…

Ive seen variations on this style of solution batted around before. They seem promising but I wonder if ISPs won’t be a kind of bottle neck. Much like they currently are for YunoHost and FreedomBox.

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