Tim Berners-Lee urges curb on power of tech giants

Sir Berners-Lee is a key speaker at the Royal Bank of Scotland's Disrupt 2.0 event. Picture: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
Sir Berners-Lee is a key speaker at the Royal Bank of Scotland's Disrupt 2.0 event. Picture: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
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Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, is expected to highlight the opportunity to harness the internet’s potential to be a force for good by reducing the dominance of tech giants at an event in Edinburgh this week.

Berners-Lee, who has been a critic of the power a handful of companies hold across the web, is a key speaker at the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Disrupt 2.0 event being staged at its headquarters on Thursday. He believes that the major technology platforms create barriers for competitors by acquiring start-up challengers, buying new innovations and hiring the industry’s top talent. He has previously said the creation of a new legal or regulatory framework for the web may help better balance social objectives with business interests.

More than 250 people from across business and the technology sector will attend this year’s RBS event, which is exploring the theme of how technological innovation can be harnessed to address social needs.

Simon McNamara, chief administrative officer at RBS, said: “Whether it’s humanising the next generation of Artificial Intelligence technology, utilising blockchain to help refugees, or using cognitive neuroscience to optimise students’ welfare – innovation has the power to change the world for us all.”

Other speakers at the event include Janice Kirkpatrick, co-founder of Glasgow-based design studio Graven.