We conducted an exclusive interview with Daniel Doll-Steinberg, author of “Unsupervised,” which was selected as the best book of the year 2023 by Bloomberg and translated into Turkish as “Dizginlenemeyen” by United Payment.

In our exclusive interview with Daniel Doll-Steinberg, author of “Unsupervised” – acclaimed by Bloomberg as the best book of 2023 and translated into Turkish as “Dizginlenemeyen” by United Payment – we seek to uncover the nuances of navigating the innovative currents of technology. The opening of our interview features insights from İlker Sözdinler, CEO of United Payment, sharing his perspectives on the book and its implications for shaping not only our present but also our future. Doll-Steinberg shares his impressive career journey that spans from the financial world to digital rights management, from education to the gaming industry, along with his passion for technological innovations and the vision he sets forth in “Unsupervised”. We hope this valuable work provides profound guidance to readers on the impacts on society and the responsibilities we hold as individuals in facing the future.


Mr. Sözdinler, United Payment continues to enrich the sector with a variety of valuable books through its culture and arts initiatives. We also know that you frequently recommend books and movies on your social media accounts. What are your thoughts on “Unsupervised”? Who would you recommend it to? What kind of challenges and opportunities does the book focus on?

At United Payment, we aim to offer people a smoother, less complicated, and more beautiful life in the field of payment systems. On the other hand, we are witnessing moments that the ongoing technology revolution, which will radically and quickly change everything from the economy to employment, education to health, and energy to our planet. We believe that pioneering technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum, blockchain, photonics, and cloud computing, which we can no longer ignore, are developments that concern everyone. That’s why we wanted to enlighten the whole society on this subject and offer them a guidebook. We are delighted to have introduced “Unsupervised”, selected as the book of the year by Bloomberg, to our readers as one of Turkey’s leading fintech companies. We believe that this book is of interest to all segments of society, especially business leaders, and we trust that everyone who reads it will gain striking insights about themselves, the future, and their loved ones.



Can you share with us your journey and what inspired you to become involved with disruptive technologies?

Throughout my career I have been inspired by the challenge of harnessing technology’s power to foster innovation and deliver new solutions​​​​. I have been lucky enough to build technologies and create companies through three technological leaps and have advised governments and supranational organisations on policy and regulation. 

I started his career in 1991 in the global derivatives technology industry, the first true disruption that technology brought to the financial industry, creating the world’s largest global asset class. I led the transformation of the US operations of a major global bank in New York between 1995 and 1997. After which I founded a company which created one of the first global standards for Digital Rights Management (DRM), securing and delivering activation keys and content direct to resellers & customers, which helped transform the software and computer gaming industries. I was appointed by the European Commission an expert advisor specializing in education, disruption, and Future of Work, and to the UK Government where he co-wrote the 2012 Innovation Report. In 2017 I founded the Atari Token Project to build a metaverse-based new economy platform with Atari, an Ethereum founder, and several gaming legends.

I am now a founding partner at ‘active innovation’ venture capital fund EdenBase, and a cofounder at TransformBase, a forum for the responsible investment in and business adoption of AI and frontier technologies. Through these I am able to invest in and support entrepreneurs and fantastic teams to deliver transformative products and services to create a sustainable and positive future.

 My book “Unsupervised” reflects my deep understanding of how new technologies are reshaping our society and underscores the urgency for us to engage with and shape these changes responsibly. It is the thesis behind EdenBase’s vision, investment strategy and ecosystem, and the foundations for TransformBase.


In your view, how are emerging technologies transforming our world and our place in it?

We are at a pivotal juncture in human history, where the combined force of AI, quantum computing, blockchain, and other frontier technologies is fundamentally reshaping every part of our existence. These technologies, by their very nature, have the power to solve some of our most daunting global challenges, from climate change to health crises, while simultaneously posing existential risks if left unchecked​​​​. 

In addition, and concerningly, we are seeing an extraordinary concentration of power among a few individuals and entities, largely due to their early and effective harnessing of these technologies​​. This raises important questions about oversight and the equitable distribution of benefits. Moreover, the very fabric of our daily lives is changing, as these technologies dematerialize and take over functions from simple tools to complex systems, integrating more deeply into our lives and even our bodies​​.

On the other hand, one of the most profound changes is the way these technologies are democratizing creation and innovation. Now, anyone with a great idea has the potential to leverage these technologies to create new solutions, products, and even entirely new realities within the metaverse. This democratization holds immense potential for innovation and creativity but also necessitates a new approach to governance and ethical considerations​​​​.

But this is a double-edged sword. While these technologies offer solutions to pressing global issues, they can exacerbate problems if not developed and deployed responsibly. For instance, while we can improve sustainability and reduce our ecological footprint, the unsupervised development of technologies like AI could lead us to a future where computers, not humans, are the primary drivers of innovation and decision-making​​​​. 

To navigate this new world responsibly the key lies in knowledge, community, and proactive engagement. By understanding the capabilities and potential impacts of these technologies, we can foster a global community committed to ethical development and deployment. This involves both highlighting the opportunities they present and diligently addressing the challenges they pose, ensuring that we guide these technologies towards outcomes that enhance, rather than diminish, our collective future​​​​.

With the right focus and collaboration, I believe we can create a positive future that reflects our highest aspirations for society.


How do you perceive the influence of a few global players in dominating current and future technologies? 

The impact of these global tech giants is immense and complex, deeply influencing the development and direction of frontier technologies. Their substantial investments in these innovations give them a significant edge in shaping the future technological landscape. This dominance is not just about controlling market shares but also about setting standards and determining the pathways for technological evolution.

Their influence stretches across economic, social, and political realms, raising questions about competition, privacy, and the ethical use of technology. The centralization of power among these few entities can potentially create echo chamber innovation, with barriers for smaller companies and startups that are also contributing valuable and diverse innovations.

Furthermore, their global reach and the data they control allow them to influence consumer behaviour, policy making, and even the global economy. This raises concerns about governance, accountability, and the equitable distribution of technology’s benefits.

While their contributions to technological progress cannot be understated, ensuring a balanced and sustainable technological future requires robust regulatory frameworks, open dialogue between stakeholders, and initiatives that support diversity of thought and innovation beyond these tech giants. Only by addressing these challenges head-on can we hope to leverage these technologies for the greater good, ensuring they serve the broadest swath of humanity rather than the interests of a privileged few​​​​.


What are your thoughts on the inevitable dominance of pioneering technologies, and how can we navigate this new tech-centric world consciously?

The rise of these pioneering technologies heralds a significant shift in our societal, economic, and geopolitical landscapes. The concentration of technological advancements and power among a select few corporations and nations poses a unique set of challenges. This dominance is not just about market control; it’s about who sets the agenda for the future of technology and, by extension, humanity​​.

However, this scenario is not without its considerable opportunities. These platforms can drive monumental advancements to address some of humanity’s most pressing issues, from climate change to healthcare. The key is ensuring these advancements are accessible and beneficial to all with all the diversity of humanity, not just a well-informed few​​.

Navigating this new tech-centric world consciously requires a far reaching approach. Education and public awareness are critical. We need as many people as possible who not only understand the opportunities and threats of these technologies but can also critically assess their impact, advocate for ethical standards and adopt and adapt them for their own use.

In essence, while the dominance of a few in pioneering technologies is inevitable, the control needs to be as extensive as possible. We have the tools to guide this journey towards a future that prioritizes the well-being of humanity. By fostering collaboration across governments, industry, academia, and civil society, along with the huge user base we can steer these technologies towards outcomes that enhance, rather than diminish, our shared future​​​​.


How can individuals and societies keep pace with the rapid changes brought about by technological advancements?

It is essential for both individuals and societies to embrace a culture of continuous learning and adaptation. These technologies are not just reshaping industries but are fundamentally altering the way we live, work, and interact. The key to succeeding in this new era will be to remain flexible and open to change.

Education systems must evolve to focus more on critical thinking, creativity, and digital literacy, preparing individuals for a future where many traditional jobs may be automated. Additionally, fostering an environment that encourages innovation and supports technological entrepreneurship can drive societal growth and help mitigate the displacement caused by automation​​​​.

At the same time, governments need to implement open and forward-thinking policies that address the challenges of technological unemployment, ensure distribution of technology’s benefits, promote ethical standards in technology development and use​​, yet encourage innovation and transformation.

We need to adapt our educational, economic, and policy frameworks to the realities of the new tech-driven world by cultivating a mindset geared towards lifelong learning, promoting sustainable growth, and ensuring that technological advancements are aligned with individual and collective societal values and needs. We can navigate the rapid changes brought about by these pioneering technologies consciously and constructively by leveraging technology to enhance human well-being and continue the trend for technologies to create a better future​​.


You mention that the tech revolution affects everyone but is governed by very few. How can we encourage more inclusive discussions and participation in shaping this future?

The tech revolution, driven by frontier technologies, has ushered in unprecedented changes, affecting all layers of society. So far technological progress has ensured that the last decade was the best for humanity as a whole. However, this revolution’s governance remains in the hands of a few global players and technologists, resulting in a significant concentration of power and influence with minimal collective oversight​​​​.

This scenario, while transformative, presents challenges in ensuring that the development and deployment of these technologies are inclusive and equitable. To counter this, we must encourage environments that encourage broad participation in technological discourse and decision-making. This involves not just policymakers and technologists, but educators, investors, entrepreneurs, and, crucially, us all as users.

Education plays a pivotal role in equipping individuals with the knowledge and skills to engage meaningfully with emerging technologies. By adapting our education systems to reflect the needs of a rapidly evolving tech landscape, we can democratize expertise and empower more people to contribute to the conversation​​. Frontier technologies can really support and enhance educational systems and make them far more individual and effective.

Moreover, creating open, accessible forums for discussion and innovation can help dilute the concentration of power. This includes supporting community-driven technology initiatives, and ensuring that the benefits of technology are distributed more equitably across countries and groups​​​​.

Ultimately, encouraging wider discussions and participation in shaping the future of technology requires concerted efforts across all sectors of society. By embracing diversity of thought, fostering education, and creating spaces for open dialogue and ecosystems for innovation, we can navigate the tech revolution more consciously and ensure that its benefits are realized by everyone, not just a privileged few​​.


You’ve both contributed significantly to the tech industry in different capacities. How has your collaboration influenced the message and content of your book?

I have been fortunate to have had a wide ranging career and set of experiences. From building and investing in global products and technology companies, using many technologies, across many sectors including the financial, marketing, computer gaming, metaverse, future of work and digital rights management industries, to having the opportunity to advise governments and supranational organisations on policy and regulation and following the financial crash of 2007. This experience has allowed me to gain a knowledge of several technologies, witness trends, and understand regulation and government policy, whilst also giving me experiences of different countries and cultures. This has supported my understanding how a combination of technologies is able to impact us all and the responsibilities of the various stakeholders.


What are the existential risks and opportunities you believe we should be focusing on in the context of AI and other pioneering technologies?

The pace of technological advancement is accelerating beyond our comprehension. This is a risk in itself and brings several existential risks to the forefront, including the widening of the digital divide, unintended consequences of technology deployment, and the long-term impact on human values and society. There is also a significant concern about the misuse of these technologies, whether intentionally by malicious actors or unintentionally through harmful applications.

The opportunities are as vast as the challenges. AI and technologies like quantum computing hold the promise of solving complex problems that are currently beyond our reach, democratizing access to information, and augmenting human capabilities across various sectors. They necessitate a transformation in education and the workforce, emphasizing skills that machines can’t easily replicate, such as creativity and critical thinking. Moreover, focusing on ethical development can ensure these technologies contribute positively to societal challenges like climate change and healthcare.

Navigating this landscape requires a proactive and multifaceted approach. This includes implementing robust regulatory frameworks, emphasizing ethical considerations in technology development, engaging the public in these conversations, and continuously assessing the impact of these technologies on society. Collaboration across all sectors—government, industry, academia, and civil society—is crucial. We need to ensure that we are leveraging these technologies for the greater good, while also putting in place safeguards to prevent and mitigate their potential harms.


What advice would you give to leaders, policymakers, and the general public to prepare for the challenges and opportunities of the future? 

The most important thing is for us to all try to understand at a basic level what these technologies are capable of, not how they work but what they can achieve. We are all users of these technologies and each have a responsibility to use them in a way that serves us not those who are creating them.

Specifically we need to:

  • Create an environment to embrace continuous learning and innovation: The future will be driven by rapid innovation and the adoption of frontier technologies. Continuous learning and the willingness to engage with new ideas should be the foundation for all current thinking. Encouraging ecosystems that balance competition with altruism, where communities behave responsibly and share in success, will be crucial for fostering creativity and adapting to changes​​.
  • Understand the impact of these technologies: It is essential to keep informed how powerful new technologies are positioned to transform society and industries. A high level understanding of these technologies, their potential significance, and the opportunities and threats they pose will enable better preparation and adaptation to the changes they bring​​.
  • Focus on step one: To actually create positive change and prepare for the future, we must focus on the immediate next step rather than the distant future. This approach involves taking action, measuring results, and continuously investing in the next steps toward achieving long-term goals with frontier technologies. Encouraging and challenging entrepreneurs, companies and governments to make the right choices is essential for sustainable growth and innovation​​.
  • Adopt a holistic view of investment: Investors, from early stages to pension funds, should fine-tune their investment models to support companies making a positive difference, however small. Constantly challenging the products created will help ensure investments contribute to a desirable future​​.
  • Redefine education to meet current needs: Transforming the education system to align with the needs of the post-Cognitive Revolution world is vital. A new form of educational system that emphasizes creativity, free thought, and includes shorter, more intense learning periods coupled with regular retraining will enable people to better adapt and thrive amidst technological advancements​​.

By taking these steps, individuals and society can better navigate the rapid changes brought about by disruptive technologies, ensuring a future that benefits humanity as a whole.