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The open interface web: declaring interfaces for an open & accessible world

Preparing for an LLM negotiated world, Part 1

CEO, Co-Founder
Dec 06, 2023

LLMs are about to drastically increase the volume and apparent quality of automatically generated messages. Some communication will be generated on behalf of a valuable customer or partner, but a lot will be low value attempts from third parties that are exploring opportunities at the expense of their receivers. How will we deal with all these - at first sight - ‘legitimate’ interactions?

In my previous blog post on AI readiness, I explained how an explosion of content probably will trigger an attention arms race that will force people and organisations to not only produce content through AI, but also to consume the Internet through AI. To get ahead of the information onslaught, I argued that companies need to become more deliberate about their communication channels:

  • to constrain communications through a set of well managed APIs,
  • to publish those APIs so that they are findable and discoverable.

But what if you don't have APIs? And what about interactions that are more like conversations than transactions?

Towards a holistic and deliberate interface strategy

When interfaces are designed to constrain information flows in a holistic way, a higher volume of effective and efficient communications becomes possible. Interfaces as enabling constraints also make it easier to enforce governance principles and to innovate (both inside and outside of an organisation).

These benefits, together with the urgency to prepare for the impending onslaught of AI generated messages, make it essential for organisations to become more deliberate about their interface strategy.

On a few occasions, I’ve heard Mehdi Medjaoui predict that in the future companies will have a chief API officer. I share his opinion that APIs are so essential that they will require executive focus, but I believe this role will not only be about application programming interfaces. Instead, I believe that companies will have a Chief Interface Officer who is responsible for all of a company’s interfaces.

Join the conversation

This is the introduction for a blog post series in which we explore why companies should develop a comprehensive interface catalogue. With it, I want to explore how we could create an open standard for interface catalogues.

A few years ago I talked with Kin Lane about the APIs.JSON standard he developed and how it would be great to have open source tooling available to implement it and to help drive adoption. I imagine that an extension of the APIs.JSON standard, or a new, similar standard could at the same time help organisations to publish a comprehensive overview of their interaction surface and to get ready for an LLM mediated world.

In the coming weeks, we will publish additional posts in this series. I have a draft post on the following topics:

  • Interface discovery as a prerequisite for effective communication
  • From developer portal to interface portal
  • Declaring interfaces for a more accessible world: An opportunity for regulation?
  • Interface catalogues: The future is already here

If you want early access to the drafts and/or if you are interested in getting updates about the initiative and/or you want to collaborate on a joint initiative, let us know here.

All Pronovix publications are the fruit of a team effort, enabled by the research and collective knowledge of the entire Pronovix team. Our ideas and experiences are greatly shaped by our clients and the communities we participate in.

Kristof Van Tomme is an open source strategist and architect. He is the CEO and co-founder of Pronovix. He’s got a degree in bioengineering and is a regular speaker at conferences in the API, developer relations, and technical writing communities. He is the host of the Developer Success & the Business of APIs and the API Resilience podcasts.

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