The Yuan requests your support! Our content will now be available free of charge for all registered subscribers, consistent with our mission to make AI a human commons accessible to all. We are therefore requesting donations from our readers so we may continue bringing you insightful reportage of this awesome technology that is sweeping the world. Donate now
Humanity must navigate a future of freedom versus control in the age of AI
By Bart de Witte  |  Mar 29, 2024
Humanity must navigate a future of freedom versus control in the age of AI
Image courtesy of and under license from
As the AI epoch advances, humans face a stark choice and must seek to strike the right balance between freedom and control by the entrenched Big Tech elites, counsels Bart de Witte, an expert on digital transformation in healthcare and founder of Berlin-based non-profit HIPPO AI.

BERLIN - In an age where digital connectivity defines not only people’s communication but the very essence of their being, the world stands at a crossroads that will set the course for the future of human interaction. The era of technological liberation - heralded by the nostalgic beeping of dial-up modems that once served as gatekeepers to the vast expanse of the internet - is experiencing a Renaissance that acts simultaneously as a reflection of people’s deepest desires and their greatest fears. 

Last year not only opened a new chapter in the history of artificial intelligence (AI), but also ignited a digital revolution driven by a growing army - millions strong - of the open-source AI community. This movement, animated by an unrelenting pursuit of freedom and independence, has accomplished a remarkable feat within a single year: the creation of AI models that can compete with the well-known ChatGPT in intelligence and versatility, but that are revolutionary in one respect - their ability to function completely offline on  smartphones. 

These models, born from the collective genius and dedication of the open-source community, represent more than just technological progress. They embody a fundamental shift in how people think about data privacy, surveillance, and user control. With AI assistants that operate entirely independent of the Cloud, people now enjoy access to a world of knowledge and productivity without compromising their privacy. No hidden eyes spying on data, no unwanted ads tailored to individuals’ online behavior - just pure, unadulterated digital freedom. This achievement is not just a technical marvel, but also a strong political statement against the increasing centralization and commercialization of the digital world by tech giants. 

At a time when people’s digital autonomy is increasingly under siege, the open-source AI movement sheds a glimmer of hope and proves a different future

The content herein is subject to copyright by The Yuan. All rights reserved. The content of the services is owned or licensed to The Yuan. Such content from The Yuan may be shared and reprinted but must clearly identify The Yuan as its original source. Content from a third-party copyright holder identified in the copyright notice contained in such third party’s content appearing in The Yuan must likewise be clearly labeled as such.
Continue reading
Sign up now to read this story for free.
- or -
Continue with Linkedin Continue with Google
Share your thoughts.
The Yuan wants to hear your voice. We welcome your on-topic commentary, critique, and expertise. All comments are moderated for civility.