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Democracy

Trends in Artificial Intelligence and Big Data

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Abstract in English: 
This paper addresses the present state of play and future trends, uncertainties and possible disruptions of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data in the following areas:
Political: AI is biased, difficult to scrutinise and to estimate its power, and – more so when embodied in autonomous systems – potentially dangerous. Policy responses are accountability, transparency, safety and control, and public debate. These should be based on ethics. AI will lead to better governance, more debate, new policy actors and processes, a contest over centralisation, and the EU catching up. AI might progress in a revolutionary or evolutionary mode, lead to new political divisions, and change democracy. AI might be misused as a “superior orders” defence. What if data analysis changes or replaces democracy?
Socio-economic: Big Data is changing the role of data, is often dependent on sensitive information, is handicapped in the short term but better in the long term due to data protection, and its industry is in danger of monopolisation. AI lowers the cost of prediction, replaces human prediction and human labour and causes social problems, increased nudging and misuse of the term AI. AI will lead to more data, economic growth and more job market distortions. AI might lead to new industry giants, a request for more privacy, new state solutions, yet unknown jobs, AI taxes and increased state ownership. What if new economic ideologies emerge, singularity strikes or AI monopolies are broken up?
Geopolitical: AI is increasing the power competition between the US and China and gives both more power. Europe tries to create businesses and find its strengths. All are investing in military solutions and the west has a slight disadvantage here. AI will lead to a shakeup of the international system, hierarchies and networks becoming more powerful, and real-life deception being more difficult. AI might lead to China becoming the most powerful power overall and in AI. The future of AI R&D and the success of Europe’s broad approach is uncertain. What if there are two digital worlds, China becomes a data-privacy defender, and AI become targets?
Technological: Superintelligent AI is invested in and researched, challenged by philosophy, and possible this century. It might imitate the brain, be assembled together or be designed by other AIs. An intelligence explosion or a conscious AI could be possible, and might be the last invention of humanity. It would require long term funding, need to overcome many technical hurdles, be dangerous due to its intellect, possibly be contained with collective intelligence, and maybe have humans lose their jobs, safety or purpose.
Key questions for policy-makers: What makes European AI distinctive? What areas can and should we prioritise, if any? What should be regulated? How could and should the EU foster AI development, avoid monopolisation, provide data pools, use high data standards, link researchers and corporations, balance fundamental with applied AI research and private with state funding, boost applications, compensate for job loss, keep AIs away from dangerous actors, support EU foreign policy (neighbourhood, FPI, democracy and human rights, aid and development, economic freedom), improve our lives with AI, change the geopolitical AI race, deal with autonomous weapons and superintelligent AI and organise Foresight?
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19
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The future evolution of civil society in the European Union by 2030

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This publication provides an analysis of the main challenges faced by civil society organisations (CSOs), of the trends and drivers of change and of the future prospects for relations between policy-makers at the national and European level and CSOs. It was developed with the purpose of examining what might await European CSOs in the next 13 years until 2030, what are the main challenges and how these should be tackled. Based on desk research of recent analyses and studies, series of interviews with representatives of academia, European and national CSO platforms and members of EESC and pan-European survey, it identifies major societal trends that have been most affecting European CSOS in the last five years : demographic changes, economic crisis, digitalisation, populism and shrinking of civic space. This overview is accompanied by strategies recommended for CSOs and the EU and national public authorities.
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66
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The Future of Europe Comparing Public and Elite Attitudes

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The European Union and its member states have faced almost a decade of political tumult. If the EU is to move beyond crisis management towards political and economic renewal, a prerequisite is to understand better the foundation of public and ‘elite’ attitudes to the EU, and where these align and diverge.
This paper is based on a unique survey conducted between December 2016 and February 2017 in 10 countries that polled two groups: a representative sample of 10,000 members of the public; and a sample of over 1,800 of Europe’s ‘elite’, individuals in positions of influence from politics, the media, business and civil society at local, regional, national and European levels.
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48
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Preparing Europe for the next 25 years

Title Original Language: 
Préparer l'Europe pour les 25 prochaines années
Abstract Original Language: 
'Préparer l'Europe pour les 25 prochaines années' est une contribution du Secrétaire Général du Parlement européen pour ESPAS (The European Strategy and Policy Analysis System). ESPAS est un cadre de coopération et de consultation, au niveau administratif, sur une base volontaire, entre le Parlement européen, la Commission européenne, le Conseil de l'Union européenne et le Service d'Action extérieure, avec le Comité des Régions et le Comité économique et social en tant qu'observateurs, dans le but d'analyser ensemble les tendances à court et moyen termes pertinentes pour l'Union européenne
Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, May 15, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Preparing Europe for the next 25 years is a contribution from the Secretary General of the European Parliament to the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS). ESPAS provides a framework for cooperation and consultation at administrative level, on a voluntary basis, between the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the European External Action Service, with the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee as observers, to work together on medium and long-term trends facing or relating to the European Union.
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37
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Public opinion and EU policies - Exploring the expectations gap

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, July 15, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Citizens’ expectations of the European Union vary widely across policy areas. A Eurobarometer survey of the European Parliament – Europeans in 2016: Perceptions and expectations, fight against terrorism and radicalisation – seeks to identify those areas in which EU citizens want to see the Union doing more. Having identified areas in which there is a gap between the EU’s current action and citizens’ expectations of the Union, the next step is to look at the potential – within the constraints of the EU legal foundations – for the EU to do more to meet citizens’ expectations.
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72
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The Future of Capitalist Democracy UK–Japan Perspectives

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, February 1, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Domestic political backlashes against inequality, corporate malfeasance and the stagnation of real incomes over the past decade are being reinforced by uncertainties about the durability of the post-Cold War international order. Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, China’s strategic and territorial claims in the South China and East China seas, the rise of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Syrian civil war, the migrant crisis affecting Europe and the Mediterranean, and evolving threats to cyber security – all constitute serious challenges to the rules of the global game.
A natural, and perhaps inevitable, question that emerges in the light of such concerns is: ‘How can the United Kingdom and Japan work together to deal with these issues?’ This, however, is a question more appealing to diplomats than to scholars or journalists. We are sceptical about the idea that bilateral cooperation can play a significant role in these matters, even if we are not at all opposed to it. Rather, we feel – and our feeling was confirmed by the September discussions – that what is most valuable is to enhance British and Japanese awareness and understanding of each other’s perspectives and, in particular, of the differences in emphasis or priority seen in the two countries, and thereby to help each other promote solutions more effectively in multilateral forums.
This essay aims to contribute to that process. There is plainly a great deal of overlap and agreement between Japan and the UK on many issues. There is always a lot that each country can learn from the other. But it is in the differences – whether of perspective, of experience or of emphasis – that the most important learnings lie. This essay will therefore explore differences more zealously than it seeks similarities.
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30
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Outlook on the Global Agenda 2015

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, November 9, 2014
Abstract in English: 
The report features an analysis of the Top 10 trends which will preoccupy our experts for the next 12-18 months as well as the key challenges facing the world’s regions, an overview of global leadership and governance, and the emerging issues that will define our future.
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94
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