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Is data the new oil? Competition issues in the digital economy

08-01-2020

The global debate on the extent to which current competition policy rules are sufficient to deal with the fast-moving digital economy has never been more pertinent. An important part of this debate concerns the market power of large high-tech companies that dominate many online markets. The main factors behind these developments are economies of scale and scope, network externalities, and the rising economic significance of data, which are a highly valuable commodity in an online economy. While being ...

The global debate on the extent to which current competition policy rules are sufficient to deal with the fast-moving digital economy has never been more pertinent. An important part of this debate concerns the market power of large high-tech companies that dominate many online markets. The main factors behind these developments are economies of scale and scope, network externalities, and the rising economic significance of data, which are a highly valuable commodity in an online economy. While being indispensable to the development of potential game changers – such as artificial intelligence – data are also a crucial input to many online services, production processes, and logistics – making it a critical element in the value chain of many different industries. Data-dependent markets are also characterised by a high level of concentration and, according to many experts, high entry barriers relating to access to and ownership of data – which make it difficult to challenge the incumbent companies. On the other hand, the large players are generally considered to be very productive and innovative. Some studies, however, show that the diffusion of know-how and innovation between the market leaders and the rest of the economy may be affecting competiveness in general. One possible way to correct these shortcomings is to regulate the sharing of data. While the risks of policy-making in this field are generally well-known and centre around the need to protect privacy – particularly where personal data are involved – and to prevent the collusive aspects of data sharing, there is currently no global model to follow. The European Union has taken multiple initiatives to unlock data markets through modern, user-centred laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the regulation on the reuse of public sector information. The global thinking seems to gradually favour more prudent oversight of the market, considering its economic heft.

Arts in the digital era

21-11-2019

Arts and technology have always been inter-related. Artistic expression has been facilitated thanks to technological innovation that enabled artists either to adapt technologies meant for other purposes, or to invent them as a way to foster the creative process. The past 30 years have seen the rapid development and deployment of digital technology, and an ever-increasing use of information and communications technologies for all sorts of needs, including artistic expression. One of the most recent ...

Arts and technology have always been inter-related. Artistic expression has been facilitated thanks to technological innovation that enabled artists either to adapt technologies meant for other purposes, or to invent them as a way to foster the creative process. The past 30 years have seen the rapid development and deployment of digital technology, and an ever-increasing use of information and communications technologies for all sorts of needs, including artistic expression. One of the most recent innovations, artificial intelligence, has already found its way into artists' studios and the creative process. The European Union faces international competition not only with regard to technological progress and art markets but also to the use of new technologies for artistic expression. Therefore, to keep their competitive edge, EU artists need to acquire skills and competences also in high-tech fields, and the research and innovation community needs to keep abreast of evolving developments. The EU is soon to adopt its financial framework for the next budgetary period (2021-2027) and is discussing the levels of funding for its various support programmes, such as those for research and innovation, for cultural and artistic activities, and for the accomplishment of its digital single market, which among other things allows diverse operators and consumers to meet and interact. The discussions on these funding programmes also touch upon funds for projects on the interaction between arts and technology.

A fresh look at the future of work in the EU

24-10-2019

Economic and technical changes are redrawing the map of the world of work: new jobs are appearing while others are becoming obsolete, and atypical work patterns are replacing full-time work and open-ended contracts. In addition, work is increasingly being carried out on online platforms connecting buyers and sellers, or by large project teams across borders and time zones. Robotics and digitalisation raise new questions, as machines progressively replace the human workforce for routine tasks, and ...

Economic and technical changes are redrawing the map of the world of work: new jobs are appearing while others are becoming obsolete, and atypical work patterns are replacing full-time work and open-ended contracts. In addition, work is increasingly being carried out on online platforms connecting buyers and sellers, or by large project teams across borders and time zones. Robotics and digitalisation raise new questions, as machines progressively replace the human workforce for routine tasks, and new types of professional and personal skills are required to respond to technological progress. Active labour-market policies are gradually adapting to the changing reality in the world of work. This concerns social security systems, which increasingly face include new, and constantly changing requirements, as well as ethical and practical problems relating to robotics. The EU focuses on protecting workers' rights while ensuring innovation, as the examples of the recently adopted Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions and the establishment of the new European Labour Authority illustrate. The need for the new digital skills that are essential to successfully master the challenges of the new working environment also continues to grow. This is an update of an earlier Briefing on the Future of work in the EU, from April 2017, PE 599.426.

Digital challenges for Europe [What Think Tanks are thinking]

18-10-2019

The rapid development of digital technologies is posing a challenge to the European Union, spurring initiatives to catch up with the US and China in the area, notably in the context of the digital single market. Among the dilemmas are how to reconcile Europe’s sensitivity towards protecting private data with the need to use them in many algorithms, and ensure that automation and artificial intelligence strengthen rather than weaken labour market participation. This note offers links to a series of ...

The rapid development of digital technologies is posing a challenge to the European Union, spurring initiatives to catch up with the US and China in the area, notably in the context of the digital single market. Among the dilemmas are how to reconcile Europe’s sensitivity towards protecting private data with the need to use them in many algorithms, and ensure that automation and artificial intelligence strengthen rather than weaken labour market participation. This note offers links to a series of some recent commentaries and reports from major international think tanks and research institutes on digital challenges. Many earlier papers on the issue can be found in a previous item in the series, published in July 2018. Many reports on cybersecurity are available in a publication from October 2018.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Margrethe Vestager – Vice-President: A Europe fit for the digital age

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

Assessing the Leaders’ Agenda

06-05-2019

The Leaders' Agenda can be assessed rather favourably as it has enabled more structured work and better preparation by all actors concerned. This method can be recommended for the future work of the European Council as it allows a consistent follow-up. However, it has not helped to overcome deadlock on some of the most sensitive issues, such as migration and taxation.

The Leaders' Agenda can be assessed rather favourably as it has enabled more structured work and better preparation by all actors concerned. This method can be recommended for the future work of the European Council as it allows a consistent follow-up. However, it has not helped to overcome deadlock on some of the most sensitive issues, such as migration and taxation.

The relationship between artistic activities and digital technology development

03-05-2019

This report examines how digital technology change is affecting artistic activity and how artistic activity is affecting digital technology. Artistic activity is broadly defined to include design, film, computer games, architecture, music and fashion as well as art. The focus is on digital technology’s role in creative activity. The study examines global trends with a particular focus on the European Union (EU). It describes likely future trends and sets out policy options to encourage activity at ...

This report examines how digital technology change is affecting artistic activity and how artistic activity is affecting digital technology. Artistic activity is broadly defined to include design, film, computer games, architecture, music and fashion as well as art. The focus is on digital technology’s role in creative activity. The study examines global trends with a particular focus on the European Union (EU). It describes likely future trends and sets out policy options to encourage activity at the intersection of artistic and technological skills.

Robots in healthcare: a solution or a problem?

15-03-2019

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of a workshop on the use of robots and AI in healthcare, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday 19 February 2019. The aim of the workshop was to provide background information and advice for Members of the ENVI Committee on the status and prospects of applying robotic and artificial intelligence (AI) based technologies in healthcare. The first part of the workshop focused on the practical application of AI and robots in healthcare ...

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of a workshop on the use of robots and AI in healthcare, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday 19 February 2019. The aim of the workshop was to provide background information and advice for Members of the ENVI Committee on the status and prospects of applying robotic and artificial intelligence (AI) based technologies in healthcare. The first part of the workshop focused on the practical application of AI and robots in healthcare, while the second part examined the ethical implications and responsibilities of AI and robotic based technologies in healthcare.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Zrinjka DOLIC, Milieu Consulting Rosa CASTRO, Milieu Consulting Andrei MOARCAS, Milieu Consulting

Artificial Intelligence ante portas: Legal & ethical reflections

14-03-2019

This briefing provides accessible introductions to some of the major legal, regulatory and ethical debates surrounding the deployment and use of AI systems. It focuses on the challenges that the sui generis features of AI may pose on the current legal framework and argues that as AI systems become more autonomous, a doctrinal paradigm swift may be needed. Given the foreseeable pervasiveness of AI, the briefing poses the question about how this new technology should be defined and classified in legal ...

This briefing provides accessible introductions to some of the major legal, regulatory and ethical debates surrounding the deployment and use of AI systems. It focuses on the challenges that the sui generis features of AI may pose on the current legal framework and argues that as AI systems become more autonomous, a doctrinal paradigm swift may be needed. Given the foreseeable pervasiveness of AI, the briefing poses the question about how this new technology should be defined and classified in legal and ethical terms. By providing an analysis of the key legal initiatives in this field in Europe, the briefing aims to equip the reader with the understanding they need to engage in clear-headed reflection about AI’s legal and socio-ethical challenges, and meaningful debates about how the current EU acquis may need to be adjusted to the new technological realities.

Why artificial intelligence matters

14-03-2019

This briefing explains why AI matters by reviewing some of the key opportunities and challenges it presents, but it does so with reference to the functionality and readiness of the technology. The first section focuses on the opportunities and challenges presented by today’s AI while the second explores longer-term speculative opportunities and challenges that are contingent upon future developments that may never happen.

This briefing explains why AI matters by reviewing some of the key opportunities and challenges it presents, but it does so with reference to the functionality and readiness of the technology. The first section focuses on the opportunities and challenges presented by today’s AI while the second explores longer-term speculative opportunities and challenges that are contingent upon future developments that may never happen.

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