First Next Generation Internet workshop: sharing initial thoughts and notes

Building an Internet for Humans

On the 30th November, Dr. Monique Calisti, Director of Martel Innovate, attended the Next Generation Internet, NGI, workshop that was held at the #EuropeanCommission premises in Brussels.


About 80 participants representing academic, SME, startup, industrial and media organisations actively engaged in innovating the Internet were invited by the European Commission.

Discussions and debates centered around identifying the core issues and topics the European Internet Innovators shall be focusing on to build the Internet of 2030, an Internet for Humans.

Core aspects that emerged out of the intense day were shortly summarised by the various rapporteurs designated during the breakdown workshops the participants were involved in.

As rapporteur for the SMEs and Industrial representatives, Dr. Calisti was invited to summarise the outcomes of the session she was involved in. The main aspects that emerged out of the discussion include the following items:

  • NGI will have to encompass Research and Policy and provide an open cooperative platform (intended as a network of networks embracing infrastructure and services) ensuring non-discriminatory access at low cost to all citizens.
  • NGI shall become a mean to break monopolies (breaking down top-down players data ownership and search engines monopoly in particular) and allow open innovation to be effectively implemented by all scientists and innovators for the whole Digital Society.
  • NGI shall address and solve the weak privacy and security concerns of today’s vulnerable Internet.
  • In the Internet of the Future, Quality of Experience should be pull-based taking into account individual needs, but also embodied social networks requirements – the Internet will convey mood and emotions.
  • Ethics and regulation will be crucial: the more the Internet will transparently pervade our everyday life, the more we will need to understand implications of delegating to machines and devices our decision making, whether partly of fully.
  • Education and Healthcare shall be core verticals indicating and driving efforts for the creation of an Internet for Humans.

What about Artificial Intelligence?

My soul and my brain were amused and inspired (and sometimes a bit annoyed I must admit), by the fact so many times it clearly came up Artificial Intelligence will play a central role in grounding the evolution of the Internet. No big surprise really! But a lot of concerns of course in understanding what will be the proper balance in the degree of autonomy that will be given to devices, machines and whatever software agents will be acting on our behalf.” reports Monique after attending the Next generation Internet workshop.

Martel firmly believes that one of the core aspects the Next Generation Internet initiative will have to address, and that will keep many scientists and Internet innovators busy in the years to come, is indeed the capability to properly engineer a balanced integration of digital autonomy versus human control in an Internet that will increasingly pervade and transparently embrace our Digital Society.

At the end of the day, maybe even more questions than at the beginning of the workshop, but for sure a lot of food for thought. So lots of ongoing work and brainstorm for the weeks to come here at Martel.

Stay tuned on our communication channels!