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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.

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.

What if your emotions were tracked to spy on you?

13-03-2019

Recent reports of celebrity singer, Taylor Swift, deploying facial recognition technology to spot stalkers at her concerts raised many eyebrows. What started out as a tool to unlock your smartphone or tag photos for you on social media is surreptitiously becoming a means of monitoring people in their daily lives without their consent. What impact and implications are facial recognition technology applications likely to have, and what can be done to ensure the fair engagement of this technology with ...

Recent reports of celebrity singer, Taylor Swift, deploying facial recognition technology to spot stalkers at her concerts raised many eyebrows. What started out as a tool to unlock your smartphone or tag photos for you on social media is surreptitiously becoming a means of monitoring people in their daily lives without their consent. What impact and implications are facial recognition technology applications likely to have, and what can be done to ensure the fair engagement of this technology with its users and the public at large?

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.

Autor externo

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.

Autor externo

DG, EPRS

Understanding algorithmic decision-making: Opportunities and challenges

05-03-2019

The expected benefits of Algorithmic Decision Systems (ADS) may be offset by the variety of risks for individuals (discrimination, unfair practices, loss of autonomy, etc.), the economy (unfair practices, limited access to markets, etc.) and society as a whole (manipulation, threat to democracy, etc.). We present existing options to reduce the risks related to ADS and explain their limitations. We sketch some recommendations to overcome these limitations to be able to benefit from the tremendous ...

The expected benefits of Algorithmic Decision Systems (ADS) may be offset by the variety of risks for individuals (discrimination, unfair practices, loss of autonomy, etc.), the economy (unfair practices, limited access to markets, etc.) and society as a whole (manipulation, threat to democracy, etc.). We present existing options to reduce the risks related to ADS and explain their limitations. We sketch some recommendations to overcome these limitations to be able to benefit from the tremendous possibilities of ADS while limiting the risks related to their use. Beyond providing an up-to-date and systematic review of the situation, the report gives a precise definition of a number of key terms and an analysis of their differences. The main focus of the report is the technical aspects of ADS. However, other legal, ethical and social dimensions are considered to broaden the discussion.

Autor externo

DG, EPRS

Farming without plant protection products

04-03-2019

Plant Protection Products (PPPs) are often perceived by consumers as very harmful for human health and for the environment. The tendency in the EU policy is to stimulate the reduction of PPPs. Can we maintain high yield with less PPPs? This paper presents the current state of the art regarding the role of PPPs in securing global food production, preserving biodiversity and supporting farmer’s income. The role of various stakeholders on the current perception of risk by the general public is given ...

Plant Protection Products (PPPs) are often perceived by consumers as very harmful for human health and for the environment. The tendency in the EU policy is to stimulate the reduction of PPPs. Can we maintain high yield with less PPPs? This paper presents the current state of the art regarding the role of PPPs in securing global food production, preserving biodiversity and supporting farmer’s income. The role of various stakeholders on the current perception of risk by the general public is given and promising alternative and more sustainable strategies to further reduce PPP use are commented.

Autor externo

DG, EPRS

Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing

18-02-2019

The IUU Regulation (1005/2008) is the core of EU's legal framework for action against global IUU fishing. Its primary objective is to prevent, deter and eliminate the trade of IUU-caught products into the EU. One of its key components is a multiple-step procedure for dealing with non-EU countries considered uncooperative in the fight against IUU fishing. Third edition. This infographic further updates an earlier one of September 2018. For more information on the EU's IUU Regulation 1005/2008 and ...

The IUU Regulation (1005/2008) is the core of EU's legal framework for action against global IUU fishing. Its primary objective is to prevent, deter and eliminate the trade of IUU-caught products into the EU. One of its key components is a multiple-step procedure for dealing with non-EU countries considered uncooperative in the fight against IUU fishing. Third edition. This infographic further updates an earlier one of September 2018. For more information on the EU's IUU Regulation 1005/2008 and on IUU fishing, see the parallel EPRS Briefing: PE 614.598.

Autor externo

CHAHRI, Samy

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Joint PETI and ENVI Public Hearing on Climate Change Denial
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