This book “is actually a synthesis of the research done in 2012 and the feedback received in 2013”, Floridi says in the introduction. The manifesto itself, released in 2013, was the outcome of the work of a group of scholars, organised by EU DG Connect and chaired by Floridi.
The message of the manifesto (that is only some pages long):
“ICTs are not mere tools but rather environmental forces that are increasingly affecting:
1. our self-conception (who we are);
2. our mutual interactions (how we socialise);
3. our conception of reality (our metaphysics); and
4. our interactions with reality (our agency)”
“due to at least four major transformations:
a. the blurring of the distinction between reality and virtuality;
b. the blurring of the distinction between human, machine and nature;
c. the reversal from information scarcity to information abundance; and
d. the shift from the primacy of stand-alone things, properties, and binary relations, to the primacy of interactions, processes and networks” (bold by WH).
The book sections that substantiate the manifesto are about hyperconnectivity; identity, selfhood and attention; complexity, responsibility and governance; and the public sphere in a computational era.
All of them are topics we will touch at the Summit in different streams and tracks and, for sure, from different points of view.