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OSI’s Focus Expands To Include AI’s Role In Software Development

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In this episode of TFiR Let’s Talk, Swapnil Bhartiya catches up with Stefano Maffulli, Executive Director at the Open Source Initiative (OSI) while at Open Source Summit in Dublin, to discuss the role of OSI in the modern world and what the key challenges are currently with open source. He discusses the emergence of new incompatible licenses and their current focus on AI in relation to open source and what OSI is doing to connect people and establish a roadmap for putting in place guidelines and guardrails for ethical collaboration.

Key highlights from the video interview are:

  • We live in a world driven by open source yet some companies struggle to understand why they should choose open source. Maffulli explains that they are creating an ecosystem to make open source easy to use with simple rules of engagement. He discusses how OSI helps organizations consume open source.
  • Maffulli feels that more education is needed for companies to help them to better understand open source, particularly with policymakers. He discusses how regulators are realizing the challenges of shared source code and in software in general. He explains that OSI’s role is to educate the publication and help policymakers understand open source from the perspective of the collaboration and with the competition in mind.
  • Maffulli believes that public policymakers are paying attention to open source and governments around the world do have a good understanding of the definition of open source and licenses. He discusses how the Biden administration has realized the importance of the open source movement.
  • OSI’s technology they are focusing on this year is AI. Maffulli discusses how the GNU manifesto was written as a foundation for how the software industry needed to treat each other and its users which led to the open source definition and why he feels they need to do the same sort of analysis around rules of engagement for AI.
  • Maffulli feels that companies need to be offered more options than just GPL v3 in order to have a sustainable business and build a sustainable business model, and he believes the answer lies with open source software.
  • Maffulli hopes to see more conversations about how OSI can support business models happening over as-a-service with licenses that are respectful of the principles of open source.
  • Open source policy veteran Deb Bryant is joining OSI as US Policy Director. Maffulli explains why they needed to have a US policy maker on board and how there needs to be education around open source and the licenses for the different levels of governments. He discusses the role she is going to be playing with working with the agencies and partners on this.
  • OSI is organizing Deep Dive: AI, an online event split into three parts: a podcast series comprising five episodes, interviews with experts to introduce topics, and panel discussions. Maffulli discusses how AI is changing the way software is interpreted and understood and why there needs to be guidelines and guardrails for ethical collaboration and ethical users of the AI systems.

Connect with Stefano Maffulli (LinkedIn, Twitter)
Learn more about Open Source Initiative (OSI)  (Twitter)

The summary of the show is written by Emily Nicholls.

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