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Competence Centre on Foresight

We foster a strategic, future-oriented and anticipatory culture in the EU policymaking process.

Page | Last updated: 08 Apr 2020

AI and access to new technologies

  • Globalisation of all sectors — economic, security, information, technological development, etc.— together with increased mobility and solidarity of the population worldwide are accelerating the spread and implementation of democratic values and structures, but are also adding new governing structures around the world.
  • Artificial Intelligence is bringing many benefits to our society, including greater inclusion and access to information, goods and services. Nevertheless, it also carries significant risks, such as disintegration of individual privacy, controlling and monitoring citizens, lack of agency and control, increasing threats to cybersecurity, prolonged social disorder, and many others, challenging governance and democracy. 
  • AI and big data could be used for more efficient policymaking. The use of AI could help citizens make better-informed decisions.
  • Citizen participation, algorithms and data considered together could allow reflection on how to use technology for good to empower citizens and share power. 
  • If technological development becomes more participatory, it could also become more socially robust and in accordance to citizen needs and public values.
  • About 66% of the people in the world have a mobile phone; over 50% have smart phones. The continued development and proliferation of smart phone apps are putting state-of-the-art AI systems in the palm of many hands globally;
  • Smartphones are increasingly seen as weapons of mass manipulation. | Related Megatrends: Security
  • Low-cost computers are replacing high-cost weapons as an instrument of power in asymmetrical cyber and information warfare. Information security has to address a wide and diverse range of "enemies"—from the “geek in the back room” to criminal organizations and governments. 
    | Related Megatrends: TechnologyGeopowerSecurity
  • Collective intelligence systems and education should be used to counter disinformation and to increase the citizens' capacity to understand what matters.
    | Related Megatrends: Technology

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