AI

Mozilla’s Mark Surman on AI and open-source systems

Catch Surman at Tech Brew’s live event on Wednesday.
article cover

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

less than 3 min read

Keep up with the innovative tech transforming business

Tech Brew keeps business leaders up-to-date on the latest innovations, automation advances, policy shifts, and more, so they can make informed decisions about tech.

For Mark Surman, there’s nothing more punk rock than an open and free internet.

The Mozilla Foundation president first started working in the media space at the end of the Cold War, coaching activists on the craft of making documentaries before becoming an internet advocate and eventually stepping into his current role.

In a recent interview with Tech Brew, Surman attributed his interest in open-source media—including Mozilla’s popular Firefox browser and its recent foray into AI—to “punk rock and the peace movement.”

“The idea that people need to be in control of how they communicate has always been central to me,” he said. “I’ve always worked on kind of just making sure that internet technology falls into the right hands.”

Surman will join Tech Brew onstage Wednesday morning at “Onboarding Your New Favorite Coworker: AI” to talk about the next technology revolution that’s changing the ways we live, work, and communicate.

As Tech Brew previously reported, Mozilla has been leading work on strategy and collaborations to drive open and trustworthy AI. It’s important that large corporations like Microsoft are not the only ones contributing to those conversations, Surman said.

“It’s not that we’re against those companies, but certainly our sense is if you have really critical infrastructure for our society, for our lives, controlled by too few hands, that’s not good: good for people, good for society, good for the economy, good for competition,” he said. “We do see AI as exactly being in the same spot that the web was 20 [or] 25 years ago.”

In the future, Surman said Mozilla hopes to offer businesses customizable AI tools that also protect user data. Sound intriguing?

“That’s the kind of thing that Mozilla AI is going to do,” he said. “We’re going to talk about that more on the panel.”

Keep up with the innovative tech transforming business

Tech Brew keeps business leaders up-to-date on the latest innovations, automation advances, policy shifts, and more, so they can make informed decisions about tech.