New governance means adapting to the world of ‘AI’

According to the public relations report of the Institute of Islamic Culture and Thought, the issue of  New Governance and the entry of the government into a new phase of administration from the position of power, these days has been the focal point of discussions in elite-academic circles and even it has been in keywords of some politicians. Fars News Agency had a conversation with Dr. Masoud Fayazi , the head of the Institute of Culture and Social Studies, about the need for new governance and its true nature, which you can read in details below .

What is new governance?

Dr. Fayazi first started with the definition of new governance and said: In order to understand the concept of new governance correctly, we must first have a clear picture of “governance” and also “new”, and then define it according to the new global conditions. In this regard, governance means the exercise of authority by the government in different areas; in other words, governance means that the government can be able to establish the necessary laws, prepare the structures and mechanisms needed to implement the aforementioned laws, and also carry out the necessary supervision and monitor on the proper implementation of laws, in different aspects of the society, and finally, to manage the society and in this way to fulfill his duty towards the people. The “new” definition also means that in the previous years or decades, the governance was based on models that are not proven to be efficient now and need to be updated. From this point of view, the question is raised: what happened in the past decades and what conditions have occurred in the mega-governments that we should discuss new methods of managing society and exercising governance? If this issue is not well elaborated, our perception and understanding of the new governance will be incomplete and we will not have a correct understanding of the intended course of the new governance.

New governance or Loss of governance

He added: At the beginning of the discussion, before even explaining the new global and national conditions, we should consider the fact that, naturally, the adoption of new methods of governance should be designed based on our own local principles and rules, and if the new methods of governance are contrary to local (Islamic- Iranian) principles, what happens will not lead to new governance practically, and it will result in the weakening of the government and the loss of authority. Therefore, if we don’t pay due attention to our principles and foundations in choosing new methods, it is as if we are digging our graves by our own hands.



A development that challenged governments

He continued: The major changes that have occurred in recent decades and have actually made us to think about modern governance are mainly related to the significant growth of communication and information technologies and their impact in other areas. Because in the last two decades, we have seen changes and developments in these technologies on a global scale, which have caused governments to face challenges in exercising their authority. In other words, as a result of the growth of technologies in the information and communication fields, problems have arisen and caused interference by large information and communication companies in other countries, which has been in conflict with the central governments, and in some fields, the situation has been taken out of the hands of the governments. Futuristic studies also show that these interventions will actually increase and as a result, governments will be threatened more. It is for this reason that the thinkers of different societies have come to the idea that they should adopt a new model of governance in order to be able to preserve their identity and existence and that of their society; otherwise they will actually lose their identity under the domination of the platform of the such companies.

Networking that leads the audience

The head of the Social and cultural Studies department of the Research Institute pointed out: What are those conditions now? In the last two decades, we have seen social structures being changed by big platforms. Because the new platforms organize people in the logically based networks, and as a result, the people can be directed and managed. Therefore, due to their active presence in these networks, the people of the society are no longer “separate” or “related people whose communication patterns are designed by their central governments”. Rather, they are sets of human relationships whose number and quality have been determined by the formative platforms. Because each of these networks have been produced based on patterns and algorithms, based on their producers ideas, based on this fact, it has determined the type of networking and communication between people.

Artificial intelligence, a challenging phenomenon

He added: As time passed, due to the production of large data centers or so-called “big data” in the West, as well as the possibility of extensive processing in large data centers, the base for the emergence and application of “artificial intelligence” has been formed. Artificial intelligence is different from previous technological achievements in the area that will make its different impact on different societies. Because this product is supposed to do exactly as humans do, and make decisions instead of him or make decisions for him. But old technological products have been a tool to meet various human needs. Naturally, due to the fact that artificial intelligence is the creation of its producers and changes the relations between individuals and governments on a wider level than social networks, it is a powerful weapon in the hands of foreign companies that can interfere the responsibility of central governments and change or weaken their governance to their own goals.

He further added: The important point is that the function of artificial intelligence is discussed in different fields, and for this reason, the designers and creators can be seen in different fields of society; in the economic, financial, banking, cultural, social, security, military and other fields. For example, we see that as a result of these technologies, things such as cryptocurrencies and new monetary units such as grams and the like occur. Most importantly, we see that as a result of these technologies, new markets occur on a global scale due to new supply and demand, which creates huge financial turnover. For example, the virtual games market itself is a new space that changes mentalities and lifestyles and forms a new financial market. From this point of view, it is not correct to claim that the technology of artificial intelligence and the network society only appears in one dimension, so we can say that the new governance is not only raised in some areas, but this issue spreads its influence in all dimensions of society and governance. For example, in the recent riots, most of the content was produced by bots, and it was actually the bots who directed and controlled the minds by mass producing and distributing content. Or the concept of Internet of Things (IOT), is not an unattainable assumption, but a project on which the big companies of the world are researching and implementing the results of their research. Then, these companies will enter the territory of the central governments and their influence will be much greater than now.

New governance means adapting in the world of artificial intelligence

Dr.Fayazi said: Artificial intelligence and the various robots based on it, work and are produced based on the very algorithms that are designed by the companies produce them. But the point here is that these algorithms that show the procedure of artificial intelligence and robots, are not necessarily compatible with the governance principles and laws of central governments. It is for this reason that emerging this new phenomenon in social relations practically controls the audience and even directs them towards their own goals and completely ignores the principles of the central government. This is where local governments are threatened and must redefine themselves in the meantime. This happens when the process of intelligentizing objects is included, and practically most of the important objects in our lives are managed and directed by the companies that were responsible for their intelligentization .

Dr.Fayazi in response to the question, what should be done now, said: Since these new technological achievements are designed based on people’s needs, governments should first know that whatever they do, they should pay attention to providing these needs and consider it a basic principle. Secondly, governments should be able to regulate the behavior of platforms and artificial intelligences by enacting the required laws and policies and regulate macro and micro standards and bring them in line with the norms and goals of their society, so that both the needs of the people and the society’s cohesion and internal administration are preserved. One of the basic strategies in this field is to prevent the creation of a monopoly for a specific platform or application, especially platforms that are not territorial and are related to foreign companies. Because in this case, the internal networked community will be fully provided to the said platform, and that platform, by developing its services for the audience, will practically increase the number of members of its audience network and will constantly develop its influence on them. The result will be that the nature of the activity of that platform will also become social and in this case it will be difficult for the domestic governments to confront it and in some cases it will be impossible .

He added: This is where the central government’s rule over its society is uncontrollably reduced. The governments should be able to move from relying on the guarantee of hard executions to the guarantee of soft executions to implement their plans in accordance with the new conditions. In any case, the basis of any society is order, under the light of which all the goals of the society are provided, so the governance should let different parties in, both domestic and foreign, and prevent monopoly on the one hand, and set the necessary rules and regulations and insist on their implementation on the other hand. The governments can define new behaviors and rules, preventing them from creating disorder

We must understand that “we can”.

At the end, Dr.Fayazi said: Another very important point that governments should pay attention to, is the production of science and technologies they need in this field. It is true that there is a big gap with the companies that shape new technologies, which are mostly American, but we should try hard to reduce the gaps by careful planning and focusing on scientific advances and by speeding up the knowledge-based companies active in these fields. To say that the distance is too far, then to leave the battlefield totally, means we have helped them take the first and most effective step in destroying our internal governance .

He pointed out: Always having initiative, scientific effort, and letting elite capacities to play a role in this field, and deep faith in “we can” and not being passive in the face of new technological developments, are the main conditions for success in this campaign, because definitely if our approach is passive, we will be doomed to failure. We stayed back in the nuclear or missile industry, and we were very behind, but by relying on our own strength and on strong visions, we were able to make up for the gaps; of course, on the condition that the relevant officials also fully believe in this matter and fulfill their responsibility in this direction well and do not just talk about the concerns, but take practical measures to fill these gaps.