Mozilla, with support from Coil, welcomes Amber Case and Matt Mankins as Fellows. Case and Mankins will reimagine new models and approaches for sustaining web content that is not reliant on advertising.
The AI powering today's internet can create unprecedented opportunity, but also serious risks to billions of internet users. For that reason, it's imperative to think critically about how we design the AI in consumer technology -- and ensure it's helping humanity, not hurting us. We've talked a lot about this over the past two years as we started to focus on Trustworthy AI as a way to build a healthier digital world.
But it’s not just about the technology. The business models that sustain the web also shape the way we use the web and what we believe is possible online. Today, advertising is the dominant business model for supporting content and services online. While advertising in and of itself isn’t harmful, the harms of targeted advertising are significant and well-documented. The invasive tracking and data hoarding practices that have become commonplace in AI fueled digital advertising are shaping everything that the web touches — from journalism and business to art and democracy.
A healthy internet needs openness and opportunity. It needs alternative models of digital and data services that more evenly distribute equity and prosperity. It needs new business models that don’t rely on the exploitation of people’s data.
So today, Mozilla is welcoming two new fellows who will be focused on reshaping the economics of the web and reimagining new models and approaches for sustainability. These fellowships are made possible through support from Coil, whose mission is dedicated to building a better business model for the web. Together, Mozilla and Coil seek to address some of the most serious socio-technical problems online - loss of privacy, centralization of power, and inequalities in participation - that are perpetuated by the dominance of ad-based marketing as the primary business model of the web.
These Fellows join others examining Trustworthy AI, working to make AI systems more transparent and fair, and addressing societal issues as they converge with the digital world.
Meet our newest Fellows:
Amber Case will be exploring how the future of money can generate new business models for creator compensation. Before joining Mozilla, Case held fellowships at the Institute for the Future, MIT Media Lab, and Harvard's Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Case is the author of Calm Technology and A Kids Book About Technology.
Case’s fellowship will focus on research into alternative business models for the web and development of a roadmap outlining potential paths forward for creators. As part of the fellowship, Case will conduct research and initiate dialogues with diverse groups to explore questions like: What is the full range of alternative business models on the web, and what would it take to adopt these new methods? What’s really needed to ignite this ecosystem? What new models of governance might be needed to support systems of multiple creators, groups and networks related to fundraising, mutual aid, and community support?
Matt Mankins will be working on advancing open monetization strategies for the web, fostering technologies to capture value without the involvement of closed platforms. Before joining Mozilla, Mankins was at the publisher Condé Nast where he led global monetization engineering efforts for the company’s iconic brands.
Mankins plans to use the fellowship to focus on research that contributes to and helps to steward a culture of ‘copy and paste models’ for supporting alternative models of monetization on the web. He plans to focus on creating a narrative framework for understanding the friction involved in current web payments standards, recommending ways to reduce this friction through social and technological norms, and prototyping them in an open source repository.