EU public consultation to address fears over AI

A series of surveys will appear over the coming weeks to help direct policy making

A groundbreaking consultation is being launched to address the fears many Europeans are facing over the future of the internet and the societal impact of emerging technology.

A series of questionnaires released by REIsearch, a non-profit group partly funded by the European Commission, will appear over the next few weeks, assessing the views of Europeans on topics such as net neutrality, AI, security and the impact of technology on health and jobs.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Originally designed to deal with the problems of chronic diseases when it was formed in March 2016, REIsearch will now turn its attention to the use of the internet by future generations, which promises to be the largest public consultation of its kind. 

The initiative will also work alongside leading European media bodies to publicise the surveys over the next three weeks, the results of which will be collated in early June. The first survey is available here.

Speaking at the time of its inception, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Science should be open and freed from its traditional ivory tower; to be discussed, submitted to critique and fed with new perspectives. That's why I warmly welcome efforts such as the REIsearch initiative to get Europeans engaged in the debate about science and research and inspire fresh ideas about how to solve some of our society's most pressing problems."

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

The group is backed by the Atomium European Institute for Science, Media and Democracy, which was launched in 2012 by the European Parliament.

The publications involved are leading national outlets, including El Pas, La Libre Belgique, Il Sole 24 Ore, The Lancet, Cell and the Guardian.

The research is designed to give policy makers a better understanding of the concerns facing citizens, and to help "make better use of all knowledge and experience to make better decisions, based on evidence and experience, for the benefit of society as a whole", according to the REIsearch mission statement.

The surveys follow the recent launch of the "Next Generation Internet Initiative", the European Commission's attempt to drive the development of the internet as a tool for sharing "European values of equality, fairness, inclusiveness, freedom and democracy".

However, relationships between European policy makers and some of the largest companies driving online innovation have been strained over the past year. Acting as an anti-competition watchdog, the EU has investigated Google for abusing its position as a dominant player in the market, and forced Microsoft to amend its takeover deal of LinkedIn over fears it would stifle competition.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Following an EU anti-trust investigation in January, Amazon was forced to renegotiate its terms with publishers to avoid a fine as high as 10% of the company's global revenue.

"The internet's impact on our world is already enormous and will accelerate even more in the coming years with the rise of artificial intelligence, the bridging of the physical and digital worlds and the pervasive use of data," said EU Commission official Jess Villasante, speaking to the Guardian.

MEPs lobbied in February for the use of regulation in the field of AI, including the attribution of rights to robot workers and the imposing of a tax on companies putting human workers out of a role an effort that was rejected by the EU.

Main image credit: Bigstock

Featured Resources

Navigating the new normal: A fast guide to remote working

A smooth transition will support operations for years to come

Download now

Putting a spotlight on cyber security

An examination of the current cyber security landscape

Download now

The economics of infrastructure scalability

Find the most cost-effective and least risky way to scale

Download now

IT operations overload hinders digital transformation

Clearing the path towards a modernised system of agreement

Download now
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/laptops/29190/how-to-find-ram-speed-size-and-type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

24 Jun 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/data-protection/356344/eu-institutions-warned-against-purchasing-any-further
data protection

EU institutions told to avoid Microsoft software after licence spat

3 Jul 2020
Visit/mobile/mobile-phones/356335/the-man-has-ruined-my-huawei-p40
Mobile Phones

The Man has ruined my Huawei P40

3 Jul 2020