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Future and Emerging Technologies

Digitally-enabled automation and artificial intelligence: Shaping the future of work in Europe’s digital front-runners

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, October 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Technology in many ways is perfectly conceived to operate in the workplace, bringing an ability to operate around the clock at increasing levels of accuracy and productivity. Since the Industrial Revolution, machines have been the ideal colleague, performing some of the most mind-numbing tasks and freeing up human partners to do more interesting and productive things. However, in the near future, new digital technologies are set to take the next step, graduating from the factory floor to the boardroom and applying themselves to more complex, cognitive activities. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are a game changer for automation in the workplace. Like ambitious young go-getters, they promise to take on more responsibility and make better decisions, and the implications for workers, companies, and policy makers are significant and pressing.
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72
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Global Trends to 2035 - Economy and Society

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This study maps and analyses current and future global trends in the fields of economics and society, covering the period to 2035. Drawing on and complementing existing literature, it summarises and analyses the findings of relevant foresight studies in relation to such global trends. It traces recent changes in the perceived trajectory of already-identified trends and identifies significant new or emerging trends. It also addresses potential policy implications of such trends for the EU.
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160
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New technologies and 21st century children - Recent trends and outcomes

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, September 17, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This paper provides a synthesis of the literature on and recent trends in new technologies and its effect on 21st century children (0-18 years old). It begins by providing an overview of recent trends in the access and use of new technologies as well as a summary of online opportunities and risks. It then explores a variety of factors, including economic, social and cultural status which underlie these trends and lead to online and offline inequalities. Building digital resilience is an important skill for 21st century children. Effective strategies to accomplish this include encouragement of active rather than passive Internet use, e-safety in the school curriculum, and teacher and parental Information and Communication Technology (ICT) support. A focus on younger children (primary school or younger) and the effects of new emerging technologies would be helpful for future research.
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61
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The Future of Work: Robots Cooking Free Lunches?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The rapid technological progress in automation, robotisation and artificial intelligence is raising fears, but also hopes, that in the future the nature of work will change significantly. There will be changes in what we do, how we form workplace relations, how we find work and the role of work in a society. Some believe that these changes will be for the better: we will need to work less and thus will have more free time. Others think that the changes will be for the worse: there will be fewer ways to earn a living. The central question of this paper is this: will adages such as ‘By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food’ and ‘No bees, no honey, no work, no money’ become obsolete? Will work disappear and with it the societal relations and inequalities that result from differing success in work? If this is going to happen, what policy options do we have to address the issue?
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68
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Artificial intelligence: a game changer for the world of work

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Abstract in English: 
‘Whoever becomes the ruler of AI will become the ruler of the world,’ said Vladimir Putin in September 2017. The USA, Russia and China are all adamant that artificial intelligence (AI) will be the key technology underpinning their national power in the future.What place, then, is there for Europe in this context? The European Commission has recently set out a European initiative on AI which focuses on boosting the EU's technological and industrial capacity, developing an innovation ecosystem, ensuring the establishment of an appropriate legal and ethical framework, and preparing for socio-economic changes. This edition of the Foresight Brief presents the results of a mapping exercise on AI’s impact on the world of work. It looks at the issues of work organisation and infrastructure, introduces the idea of ‘AI literacy’ for the workforce (as a necessary complement to technical reskilling), and details several AI risks for companies and workers. It also looks at aspects related to algorithmic decision making and the necessary establishment of an ethical and legal framework.
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11
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Air power in the 21st century: enduring trends and uncertain futures

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The past few decades have seen the acceptance of a new calculus in the role that air power can - and will - play in the future security environment. This is the result of fundamental shifts in the character and conduct of war and the technology-aided ability of air power to rapidly adapt to emerging situations. Wars or conflicts that have been fought over the past half century have all been irregular in character even if the intensity, tempo and spread have been as much as, and at times more than, what could be termed high-intensity war.
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7
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The Future of Warfare (ESPAS Ideas Paper)

Title Original Language: 
The Future of Warfare (ESPAS Ideas Paper)
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Warfare is shaped by geopolitical, societal, technological, economic and military trends:
Geopolitical: The multipolar relations between ever bigger political entities with overlapping spheres of influences are defined by surpise and uncertainty. Smaller political entities will be weaker and proxy wars more common in the future. Detterence will be reinterpreted, vulnerable states more prone to aquire nuclear weapons and international norms weakened. Megacities will be central battlefields that leave ground forces vulnerable.
Social: Warfare will shift to the internet, it will be uncontrollably ‘open-source’, live and shocking, with ever more spectacular terror. Armies will be more network-centred, waging more personalised wars and will have to find new ways to interact with democratic societies. Women in combat and the disappearance of world war veterans change the way people think about war.
Technological: Mankind becomes more powerful over time, with non-state actors possessing capabilities currently restricted to super-powers. It will struggle to outlaw technological advances and wage war without violence. The West will lose its technological superiority and will have even bigger problems in knowing how and what to research. Both inferior and highly developed armies will develop new ways of engaging the enemy. Artificial intelligence (AI) will mean that democratic armies have to balance the ‘human in the loop’ policy against effectiveness.
Economic: The economy of the opponent will be a bigger target than in the past, with commercial and dual-goods becoming more important, and the environment a more widely used weapon.
Military: Possible future military situations will be more diverse then ever. Western armies will be vulnerable to cheap weaponry. The idea that wars will be easy to win will make the world more dangerous.
Key uncertainties are China, the cyber-dimension, robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence, paradigmatic breakthroughs such as quantum computing, general AI and anti-ballistic systems, nuclear detterence and nuclear bargaining. Ten key questions for policy-makers focus on strategic autonomy, adaptation, balancing reserves, R&D, cooperation and export, interventions, China, weakening norms, anticipation, communication and procurement.
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Financing the future of supercomputing

Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Abstract in English: 
While Europe has made substantial progress in the development of its High Performance Computing (HPC) ecosystem in the last few years, the study has identified a significant investment gap, which has led to a setback in its relative global position.
In this context, this study aims to assess the access-to-finance conditions for the development and deployment of HPC. In particular, the study’s specific objectives were to:
• Identify successful commercial business models in the HPC market.
• Assess the financing requirements in key market segments and identify current financing bottlenecks.
• Provide recommendations to bridge the current gap between technology providers/users (demand side for financing) and investors (supply side).
• Explore options for public-private partnerships in financing HPC and propose ways of funding the HPC sector under the current EU financial instruments.
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154
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The Global Innovation Sweepstakes: A Quest to Win the Future

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The world is on the cusp of an unprecedented technological revolution, one that will have far-reaching social, economic, and geostrategic consequences.How the United States and other major actors position themselves as innovators and adaptors of emerging technologies will determine their economic fate and geostrategic standing.
This report seeks to answer the fundamental questions raised by the unfolding technological revolution.
The key recommendations in this report deal not just with the potential problems between states, but also address some of the inequities that are growing within societies due in part to emerging technologies.
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108
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Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce Transitions in a Time of Automation

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Abstract in English: 
The technology-driven world in which we live is a world filled with promise but also challenges. Cars that drive themselves, machines that read X-rays, and algorithms that respond to customer-service inquiries are all manifestations of powerful new forms of automation. Yet even as these technologies increase productivity and improve our lives, their use will substitute for some work activities humans currently perform—a development that has sparked much public concern.
This report assesses the number and types of jobs that might be created under different scenarios through 2030 and compares that to the jobs that could be lost to automation.
The results reveal a rich mosaic of potential shifts in occupations in the years ahead, with important implications for workforce skills and wages. Our key finding is that while there may be enough work to maintain full employment to 2030 under most scenarios, the transitions will be very challenging—matching or even exceeding the scale of shifts out of agriculture and manufacturing we have seen in the past.
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160
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