512

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Policy area
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Keyword
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European Council Conclusions: A Rolling Check-List of Commitments to Date

20-03-2019

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of ...

The role of the European Council – to 'provide the Union with the necessary impetus for its development' and to define its 'general political directions and priorities' – has evolved rapidly over the last decade. Since June 2014, the European Council Oversight Unit within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the European Parliament's in-house research service and think tank, has been monitoring and analysing the European Council's delivery on commitments made in the conclusions of its meetings. This overview of European Council conclusions is a new, updated and more comprehensive edition of the Rolling Check-List, which has been published regularly by the European Council Oversight Unit since 2014. It distinguishes between four types of European Council conclusions (commitments, reviews, endorsements and statements) and indicates the follow-up given to calls for action made by EU leaders. It also offers an introductory analysis of each policy area, highlighting the background to the main orientations given by the European Council, as well as the follow-up to them and the future challenges.

Automated tackling of disinformation-Major challenges ahead

15-03-2019

This study maps and analyses current and future threats from online misinformation, alongside currently adopted socio-technical and legal approaches. The challenges of evaluating their effectiveness and practical adoption are also discussed. Drawing on and complementing existing literature, the study summarises and analyses the findings of relevant journalist and scientific studies and policy reports in relation to detecting, containing and countering online disinformation and propaganda campaigns ...

This study maps and analyses current and future threats from online misinformation, alongside currently adopted socio-technical and legal approaches. The challenges of evaluating their effectiveness and practical adoption are also discussed. Drawing on and complementing existing literature, the study summarises and analyses the findings of relevant journalist and scientific studies and policy reports in relation to detecting, containing and countering online disinformation and propaganda campaigns. It traces recent development and trends and identifies significant new or emerging challenges. It also addresses potential policy implications of current socio-technical solutions for the EU.

External author

DG, EPRS

How artificial intelligence works

14-03-2019

This briefing provides accessible introductions to some of the key techniques that come under the AI banner, grouped into three sections to give a sense the chronology of its development. The first describes early techniques, described as ‘symbolic AI’ while the second focusses on the ‘data driven’ approaches that currently dominate and the third looks towards possible future developments. By explaining what is ‘deep’ about deep learning and showing that AI is more maths than magic, the briefing ...

This briefing provides accessible introductions to some of the key techniques that come under the AI banner, grouped into three sections to give a sense the chronology of its development. The first describes early techniques, described as ‘symbolic AI’ while the second focusses on the ‘data driven’ approaches that currently dominate and the third looks towards possible future developments. By explaining what is ‘deep’ about deep learning and showing that AI is more maths than magic, the briefing aims to equip the reader with the understanding they need to engage in clear-headed reflection about AI’s opportunities and challenges, and meaningful debates about its development.

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.

The cost of non-Europe in the area of legal migration

14-03-2019

Further EU action in the area of legal migration could address obstacles experienced by Third Country Nationals within the European Union. Depending on the policy option pursued these options could result in up to €21,75 billion in benefits. Further gains could be made by addressing the fragmented national policies in this area, which are currently undermining ability of the EU as a whole to attract the workers and researchers it needs.

Further EU action in the area of legal migration could address obstacles experienced by Third Country Nationals within the European Union. Depending on the policy option pursued these options could result in up to €21,75 billion in benefits. Further gains could be made by addressing the fragmented national policies in this area, which are currently undermining ability of the EU as a whole to attract the workers and researchers it needs.

Regulating disinformation with artificial intelligence

13-03-2019

In this study, we examine the consequences of the increasingly prevalent use of artificial intelligence (AI) disinformation initiatives upon freedom of expression, pluralism and the functioning of a democratic polity. The study examines the trade-offs in using automated technology to limit the spread of disinformation online. It presents (self-regulatory to legislative) options to regulate automated content recognition (ACR) technologies in this context. Special attention is paid to the opportunities ...

In this study, we examine the consequences of the increasingly prevalent use of artificial intelligence (AI) disinformation initiatives upon freedom of expression, pluralism and the functioning of a democratic polity. The study examines the trade-offs in using automated technology to limit the spread of disinformation online. It presents (self-regulatory to legislative) options to regulate automated content recognition (ACR) technologies in this context. Special attention is paid to the opportunities for the European Union as a whole to take the lead in setting the framework for designing these technologies in a way that enhances accountability and transparency and respects free speech. The present project reviews some of the key academic and policy ideas on technology and disinformation and highlights their relevance to European policy.

External author

DG, EPRS

Technology and social polarisation

07-03-2019

With the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it became clear how technologies such as social media and techniques such as psychological profiling can be combined in election campaigns with worrying effects. Personalised political messaging is highly automated. It starts and ends with social media, which provides both the data for categorising users and the medium for targeting them with personalised messages. Messages might be designed to favour a particular candidate or to encourage widespread discord ...

With the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it became clear how technologies such as social media and techniques such as psychological profiling can be combined in election campaigns with worrying effects. Personalised political messaging is highly automated. It starts and ends with social media, which provides both the data for categorising users and the medium for targeting them with personalised messages. Messages might be designed to favour a particular candidate or to encourage widespread discord and mistrust. In either case, it could lead to more polarised societies in which citizens share less common ground and are less understanding of those with different political ideologies, attitudes to populism, or perspectives on specific topics such as immigration. These same technologies and techniques also shape trends in news production and consumption. As newspaper sales dwindle, outlets increasingly rely upon ad-revenue generated by clicks, making extensive use of social media platforms and user profiling. Public debate increasingly occurs via these social media platforms in which citizens, politicians, companies and bots communicate directly to each other without the traditional filters of journalistic standards and editorial oversight. It has been suggested that, where citizens increasingly rely on such platforms for news, they risk entering so-called ‘filter bubbles’ in which they are exposed to a narrow range of perspectives oriented around their own profiles, shielded from contrasting views, in a broad trend that could also lead to more polarised societies. In this context, STOA launched two studies to explore the mechanisms by which these technologies and techniques may foster polarisation in Europe. One study approached the question with reference to trends in the production and consumption of news media, while the other focussed on trends in political campaigning and communication strategies.

Polarisation and the news media in Europe

07-03-2019

• Across Europe there is as yet little evidence to support the idea that increased exposure to news featuring like-minded or opposing views leads to the widespread polarisation of attitudes. Though some studies have found that both can strengthen the attitudes of a minority who already hold strong views. • Most studies of news use on social media have failed to find evidence of echo chambers and/or filter bubbles, where people are over-exposed to like-minded views. Some studies even find evidence ...

• Across Europe there is as yet little evidence to support the idea that increased exposure to news featuring like-minded or opposing views leads to the widespread polarisation of attitudes. Though some studies have found that both can strengthen the attitudes of a minority who already hold strong views. • Most studies of news use on social media have failed to find evidence of echo chambers and/or filter bubbles, where people are over-exposed to like-minded views. Some studies even find evidence that it increases the likelihood of exposure to opposing views. • The extent to which people self-select news sources in Europe based on their political preferences, as well as the extent to which news outlets produce partisan coverage, still varies greatly by country. • In addition to differences between European countries, comparative research often tends to show that the US has much higher levels of partisan news consumption and polarisation, making it difficult to generalise from these findings. • There are large gaps in our understanding of the relationship between the news media and polarisation, particularly outside of Western and Northern Europe, and particularly concerning our knowledge of new, more partisan digital-born news sources.

External author

DG, EPRS

Polarisation and the use of technology in political campaigns and communication

07-03-2019

This report offers a comprehensive overview of the relationship between technology, democracy and the polarisation of public discourse. Technology is inherently political, and the ways in which it is designed and used have ongoing implications for participation, deliberation, and democracy. Algorithms, automation, big data analytics and artificial intelligence are becoming increasingly embedded in everyday life in democratic societies; this report provides an in-depth analysis of the technological ...

This report offers a comprehensive overview of the relationship between technology, democracy and the polarisation of public discourse. Technology is inherently political, and the ways in which it is designed and used have ongoing implications for participation, deliberation, and democracy. Algorithms, automation, big data analytics and artificial intelligence are becoming increasingly embedded in everyday life in democratic societies; this report provides an in-depth analysis of the technological affordances that enhance and undermine political decision-making, both now and in the future. To conclude, we formulate principles and policy options for fostering a better relationship between digital technology and public life.

External author

DG, EPRS

European Accessibility Act

06-03-2019

To ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in society, and to reduce the fragmentation of legislation governing their access to products and services, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new directive – often referred to as the European Accessibility Act. This would provide a common EU definition of, and implementation framework for, accessibility requirements for certain products and services in the internal market. Following the completion of trilogue negotiations ...

To ensure the full participation of people with disabilities in society, and to reduce the fragmentation of legislation governing their access to products and services, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new directive – often referred to as the European Accessibility Act. This would provide a common EU definition of, and implementation framework for, accessibility requirements for certain products and services in the internal market. Following the completion of trilogue negotiations, which resulted in a provisional agreement in December 2018, the European Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal in plenary during March.

Upcoming events

21-03-2019
Education in human rights : progress, lessons learnt and challenges
Hearing -
DROI
21-03-2019
Joint PETI and ENVI Public Hearing on Climate Change Denial
Hearing -
PETI ENVI
22-03-2019
The Importance of Evaluation of outcomes in Healthcare and Hospital Experiences
Workshop -
ENVI

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