E. Glen Weyl

Founder of Microsoft Research's Special Project the Plural Technology Collaboratory, RadicalxChange and the Plurality Institute.

Founder of PTC, RxC and the Plurality Institute.
 
Generative AI, the metaverse, artificial intelligence and social networks are transforming our society and economy, and core social values like democracy and pluralism.  Glen Weyl is the world’s leading expert on how to harness these emerging tools to advance support, advance and renew those values.

He is co-author of the 2018 Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society, with Puja Ohlhaver and Vitalik Buterin of the 2022 paper “Decentralized Society: Finding Web3’s Soul” (which is one of the 30 most downloaded papers of all time on the Social Science Research network in its first year) and is working on an open, Web3-based collaborative book project with Taiwan’s Digital Minister, Audrey Tang, Plurality: Technology for Cooperative Diversity and Democracy.  He is also the author of dozens of scholarly and popular articles in journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Economic Review, the Harvard Law Review, the Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Economics and Computation and the New York Times.

Glen is the founder of:

Plurality Institute: The professional body for a growing field of technology research focused on facilitating cooperation across social difference

RadicalxChange Foundation: The world’s leadingsocial movement focused on using advanced technology to radically reimagine democracy and the economy.

He has been recognized as one of the 10 most influential people in blockchain by CoinDesk, as one of the 25 people shaping the next 25 years of technology by WIRED and as one of the 50 most influential people by Bloomberg Businessweek. He graduated as Valedictorian of his Princeton undergraduate class in 2007 and received his PhD in economics also from Princeton in 2008.

For an extensive review of Glen’s background, please refer to this article from Coinbase.

As main intellelectul collaborator of Vitalik Buterin (Founder of Ethereum), Jaron Lanier (father of virtual reality)  and Audrey Tang (Digital Minister of Taiwan), Glen makes the dizzying possibilities of the future digestible.

– Glen has founded and acts as research lead of the largest decentralized technology research group in the world

– Glen was on the leadership team of Microsoft’s Office of the CTO, leading the relationship with OpenAI  (ChatGPT), and is now leading the main industrial research group addressing how plural (free, democratic, and diverse) societies can thrive in the age of generative foundation models.

– Glen has shaped the world’s most vibrant digital decentralized ecosystem (Ethereum) and national digital democracy (Taiwan) respectively.  

– As co-author of Radical Markets, Glen invented social technologies like Quadratic Voting that have become the gold standard for democratic innovation.  

– As an advisor on geopolitics and macroeconomics to Microsoft’s senior leaders, Glen has helped companies navigate the intersection of an unsettled world with exponential technical progress.

– As Founder of RadicalxChange and technical co-lead of the Committee for Pandemic Testing, Glen has built a global social movement across civil, academic, public and private sectors to tackle the most pressing and enduring social challenges.

Sample Talks

Welcome the shapeshifters. Using the digital traces you left behind, “generative foundation models” (GFMs) can now replicate your likeness, voice and personality, fooling your bank, work and even family. At the same time, you can harness a “stunt double” to increase your productivity by a factor of 100. Can we secure the opportunities these technologies offer without destroying the social fabric or imposing authoritarian control?

As Founder of Microsoft Research’s Special Project the Plural Technology Collaboratory, the Plurality Institute, Harvard’s GETTING-Plurality Research Network and the RadicalxChange Foundation, I am on the front lines of answering these questions in collaboration with the leading AI labs (like OpenAI) and most advanced governments in the world (like Taiwan).

In this talk I will describe the fundamental organizational and social changes we will need for pluralistic societies to thrive in the age of GFMs.

  • What is generative AI and where is the tech now and going
  • How will it be applied in the workplace
  • How will workers contribute to the generative AI development and deployment lifecycle
  • Implications for workforce development and skills development in the age of generative AI

AI carries twin and seemingly contradictory threats: of destroying the social fabric through omnipresent and persuasive deception and of concentrating power in a “singularity” of model creators or models themselves.

These two threats are narrowing the corridor in which plural (free and democratic) societies can thrive. To avoid this Scylla and Charybdis, we must harness these tools to proactively widen that corridor, a strategy that has been labeled “Plurality” by its leading practitioner, Taiwan’s Digital Minister Audrey Tang who has made that country the light to the free world.

Drawing on his forthcoming book jointly with her, Glen will show you how to harness Plurality to improve health, fuel productivity and create a richer media environment, all by harnessing while contributing to human diversity and cooperation through digital technology.

Glen Weyl is the co-inventor of Quadratic Funding, the hottest new approach to supporting social entrepreneurship and cross silo-collaboration within companies, is Microsoft’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer Political Economist and Social Technologist and Founder of the RadicalxChange Foundation. 

Glen will explain how QF works, how it has been mathematically proven as the optimal way to support public goods and how it is transforming open source software, the blockchain, media and social service provision.  Whether you’re looking to tap the wisdom of your employees to catalyze new cross-company entrepreneurship or catalyze effective charitable giving, QF is one of the most powerful tools available today and there’s no one better to learn about it from than its pioneer.

Glen Weyl, a former professor of economics at the University of Chicago, developed the economic theory behind many recent advances in antitrust policy, from the 2010 US merger guidelines to the use of antitrust to protect workers.  As Microsoft’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer Political Economist and Social Technologist, he is today at the forefront of technology competition and regulatory policy.

His talk will cover some of the most innovative approaches to addressing the problems of technology monopoly platforms, including treating data as labor, forming collective bargaining institutions such as data coalitions, the democratization or utilization of platforms and the use of new open protocols to facilitate meaningful portability.  Today every company is a digital company and we all depend on the infrastructure controlled by a few dominant technology platforms.  Here is a clear glimpse into the future that will determine the fate of your business and how you can shape it.

The next wave of generative foundation models (GFMs) succeeding ChatGPT and DALL-E, will make indistinguishable and arbitrarily manipulable simulation of human content (e.g. video, voice, documents) ubiquitous, liquidating much of the foundation of social cooperation and trust.

Maintaining trust and collaboration will require a revolution in verification and dramatically expanded applications of cryptography. Luckily Web3 ecosystems like Ethereum and countries like Taiwan have been coping with similar threats for years now. In this talk, Glen will draw lessons from these experiences to help individuals and organizations of all sizes survive and thrive in this disruption.

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