258

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Disruption by technology: Impacts on politics, economics and society

21-09-2020

Technological development has long been considered as a disruptive force, provoking change at many levels, from the routine daily activities of individuals to dramatic competition between global superpowers. This analysis examines disruption caused by technologies in a series of key areas of politics, economics and society. It focuses on seven fields: the economic system, the military and defence, democratic debates and the 'infosphere', social norms, values and identities, international relations ...

Technological development has long been considered as a disruptive force, provoking change at many levels, from the routine daily activities of individuals to dramatic competition between global superpowers. This analysis examines disruption caused by technologies in a series of key areas of politics, economics and society. It focuses on seven fields: the economic system, the military and defence, democratic debates and the 'infosphere', social norms, values and identities, international relations, and the legal and regulatory system. It also presents surveillance as an example of how technological disruption across these domains can converge to propel other phenomena. The key disruptive force of 2020 is non-technological, namely coronavirus. The pandemic is used here as an opportunity to examine how technological disruption interacts with other forms of disruption.

What if 'rewilding' could help reverse biodiversity loss in Europe?

18-09-2020

Biodiversity is in crisis across the globe: species extinctions and a loss of nature occurring at rates unprecedented in human history, and with the EU no exception, our biodiversity and the essential value it brings are under threat. Could 'rewilding' help restore Europe's nature?

Biodiversity is in crisis across the globe: species extinctions and a loss of nature occurring at rates unprecedented in human history, and with the EU no exception, our biodiversity and the essential value it brings are under threat. Could 'rewilding' help restore Europe's nature?

What if fashion were good for the planet?

10-09-2020

Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, coming just after oil. Clothing manufacture and consumption have a huge negative impact on both the environment and people. Sustainability is not only about the environment, but is also an economic and social indicator, and the clothing industry is a good example illustrating their interconnections. Are technological innovations alone enough to 'tailor' a green and fair future for fashion?

Fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, coming just after oil. Clothing manufacture and consumption have a huge negative impact on both the environment and people. Sustainability is not only about the environment, but is also an economic and social indicator, and the clothing industry is a good example illustrating their interconnections. Are technological innovations alone enough to 'tailor' a green and fair future for fashion?

Disinformation and Science: Report of an investigation into gullibility of false science news in central European countries

04-09-2020

The main aim of this report is to present and discuss the results of a survey concerning perspectives on fake news among undergraduate university students in central and eastern Europe. The survey was carried out in spring 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, using an online questionnaire. Misinformation is always troubling, especially in science. Scientists feel distressed when public understanding diverges from the truth. Intentional disinformation (fake news), however, is not always the cause ...

The main aim of this report is to present and discuss the results of a survey concerning perspectives on fake news among undergraduate university students in central and eastern Europe. The survey was carried out in spring 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, using an online questionnaire. Misinformation is always troubling, especially in science. Scientists feel distressed when public understanding diverges from the truth. Intentional disinformation (fake news), however, is not always the cause of misinformation. The report discusses the causes related to social trust and types of media consumption. The sample of the study consisted of several hundred bachelors or masters students from each participating country. Half of the students were recruited from social sciences areas of study and the other half of the sample were recruited from natural sciences areas. The method of approaching the students was online questioning. One university was chosen from each participating country, and the link to the questionnaire was sent by that university's administration to the students. The response to the questionnaire was naturally anonymous and voluntary.

Scenarios for geo-politics after coronavirus: A recent Atlantic Council analysis

16-07-2020

The Atlantic Council report, 'What World Post-Covid-19? Three Scenarios', has two main takeaways: first, Chinese-US rivalry could get worse and go global, destabilising an increasingly divided EU and endangering the United States' alliances system in Asia. Second, there is no way around the US, Europe and China cooperating to develop a positive, global 'new normal'.

The Atlantic Council report, 'What World Post-Covid-19? Three Scenarios', has two main takeaways: first, Chinese-US rivalry could get worse and go global, destabilising an increasingly divided EU and endangering the United States' alliances system in Asia. Second, there is no way around the US, Europe and China cooperating to develop a positive, global 'new normal'.

Will distributed energy resources (DERs) change how we get our energy?

16-07-2020

Decentralised energy resources (DERs) may signal a paradigm shift for electricity production. By 2050, a majority of households in the EU could potentially be suppliers as well as consumers of energy. Energy communities, peer-to-peer trading and interoperable smart grids are emerging trends. This can fit well with the European Green Deal.

Decentralised energy resources (DERs) may signal a paradigm shift for electricity production. By 2050, a majority of households in the EU could potentially be suppliers as well as consumers of energy. Energy communities, peer-to-peer trading and interoperable smart grids are emerging trends. This can fit well with the European Green Deal.

Decoupling economic growth from environmental harm

16-07-2020

Decoupling economic growth from the depletion of planetary resources is a major challenge. An effective strategy will span several domains. Trends to watch include the development of negative emissions technologies, advances in the storage of renewable energy, the circular economy, and reforestation - among many others.

Decoupling economic growth from the depletion of planetary resources is a major challenge. An effective strategy will span several domains. Trends to watch include the development of negative emissions technologies, advances in the storage of renewable energy, the circular economy, and reforestation - among many others.

What if insects were on the menu in Europe?

03-07-2020

Insects, while commonly consumed elsewhere in the world, have long been off the menu in Europe – but they could soon be creeping their way onto our plates. Entomophagy, the practice of eating insects, is now gaining serious interest – is it set to take Europe by swarm?

Insects, while commonly consumed elsewhere in the world, have long been off the menu in Europe – but they could soon be creeping their way onto our plates. Entomophagy, the practice of eating insects, is now gaining serious interest – is it set to take Europe by swarm?

Artificial intelligence: How does it work, why does it matter, and what can we do about it?

28-06-2020

Artificial intelligence (AI) is probably the defining technology of the last decade, and perhaps also the next. The aim of this report is to support meaningful reflection and productive debate about AI by providing accessible information about the full range of current and speculative techniques and their associated impacts, and setting out a wide range of regulatory, technological and societal measures that could be mobilised in response.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is probably the defining technology of the last decade, and perhaps also the next. The aim of this report is to support meaningful reflection and productive debate about AI by providing accessible information about the full range of current and speculative techniques and their associated impacts, and setting out a wide range of regulatory, technological and societal measures that could be mobilised in response.

The impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on artificial intelligence

25-06-2020

This study addresses the relation between the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and artificial intelligence (AI). It considers challenges and opportunities for individuals and society, and the ways in which risks can be countered and opportunities enabled through law and technology. The study discusses the tensions and proximities between AI and data protection principles, such as in particular purpose limitation and data minimisation. It makes a thorough analysis of automated decision-making ...

This study addresses the relation between the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and artificial intelligence (AI). It considers challenges and opportunities for individuals and society, and the ways in which risks can be countered and opportunities enabled through law and technology. The study discusses the tensions and proximities between AI and data protection principles, such as in particular purpose limitation and data minimisation. It makes a thorough analysis of automated decision-making, considering the extent to which it is admissible, the safeguard measures to be adopted, and whether data subjects have a right to individual explanations. The study then considers the extent to which the GDPR provides for a preventive risk-based approach, focused on data protection by design and by default.

Externe auteur

DG, EPRS_The study was led by Professor Giovanni Sartor, European University Institute of Florence, at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament. It was co-authored by Professor Sartor and Dr Francesca Lagioia, European University Institute of Florence, working under his supervision.

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