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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 algorithms could abide by ethical principles?

20-11-2018

Algorithms, are step-by-step procedure for solving a problem, usually expressed in computer code as a set of instructions for a computer to follow in order to complete a task. Day-to-day decisions around the world are increasingly based on data science techniques powered by machine learning algorithms that are gradually making a meaningful impact on human lives. For example, the operation of intermediary platforms that propose accommodation (AirBnB) or transportation alternatives (Uber) are extensively ...

Algorithms, are step-by-step procedure for solving a problem, usually expressed in computer code as a set of instructions for a computer to follow in order to complete a task. Day-to-day decisions around the world are increasingly based on data science techniques powered by machine learning algorithms that are gradually making a meaningful impact on human lives. For example, the operation of intermediary platforms that propose accommodation (AirBnB) or transportation alternatives (Uber) are extensively using algorithms. Algorithms implicitly or explicitly are not neutral as they comprise essential value-judgments that can potentially have race or sex biases. This raises an important question: is it possible to develop and ensure that algorithms are ethical?

What if gene editing became routine practice?

16-10-2018

The CRISPR-Cas9 system currently stands out as the fastest, cheapest and most reliable system for ‘editing’ genes. It is seen as the biggest game changer in the field of gene editing due to its high degree of reliability, effectiveness and low cost. At the same time, the use of CRISPR has generated a series of socio-ethical concerns over whether and how gene editing should be used to make heritable changes to the human genome, to lead to designer babies, to generate potentially risky genome edits ...

The CRISPR-Cas9 system currently stands out as the fastest, cheapest and most reliable system for ‘editing’ genes. It is seen as the biggest game changer in the field of gene editing due to its high degree of reliability, effectiveness and low cost. At the same time, the use of CRISPR has generated a series of socio-ethical concerns over whether and how gene editing should be used to make heritable changes to the human genome, to lead to designer babies, to generate potentially risky genome edits or to disrupt entire ecosystems.

What if blockchain were to be truly decentralised?

27-09-2018

Technological systems, once introduced in a particular socio-economic context, often evolve in unforeseen ways and may fall prey to unexpected power relations. Blockchain, as a technology that relies on decentralisation to enable storing and securing data-based transactions without central administration, is currently facing significant centralisation pressures that may undermine the purpose of operating a decentralised blockchain network. But what if blockchain fulfilled its promise to be truly ...

Technological systems, once introduced in a particular socio-economic context, often evolve in unforeseen ways and may fall prey to unexpected power relations. Blockchain, as a technology that relies on decentralisation to enable storing and securing data-based transactions without central administration, is currently facing significant centralisation pressures that may undermine the purpose of operating a decentralised blockchain network. But what if blockchain fulfilled its promise to be truly decentralised?

What if blockchain offered a way to reconcile privacy with transparency?

27-09-2018

One of the most appealing aspects of blockchain technology is the degree of transparency that it can provide. Blockchain has the potential to improve supply chains and clinical trials, enforce the law, enable responsible consumption and enhance democratic governance through a traceability of information as a means of ensuring that nothing is unduly modified. The level of transparency that blockchain brings forward adds a degree of accountability that has not existed to date. At the same time, one ...

One of the most appealing aspects of blockchain technology is the degree of transparency that it can provide. Blockchain has the potential to improve supply chains and clinical trials, enforce the law, enable responsible consumption and enhance democratic governance through a traceability of information as a means of ensuring that nothing is unduly modified. The level of transparency that blockchain brings forward adds a degree of accountability that has not existed to date. At the same time, one of the most appealing aspects of blockchain technology is the degree of privacy that it can provide. How could blockchain safeguard the rights to privacy and control over one’s data, whilst promoting data transparency?

What if technologies challenged our ethical norms?

06-09-2018

Exploring the relationship between ethics and technological innovation has always been a challenging task for policy-makers. Ethical considerations concerning the impact of research and innovation (R&I) are increasingly important owing to the quickening pace of technological innovation and the transformative potential and complexity of contemporary advances in science and technology. The multiplication of legal references to ethical principles and the mushrooming of ad hoc ethics committees indicate ...

Exploring the relationship between ethics and technological innovation has always been a challenging task for policy-makers. Ethical considerations concerning the impact of research and innovation (R&I) are increasingly important owing to the quickening pace of technological innovation and the transformative potential and complexity of contemporary advances in science and technology. The multiplication of legal references to ethical principles and the mushrooming of ad hoc ethics committees indicate the institutional embedding of ethics into the scientific research process as such, but also into an increasing array of technological trajectories. Yet the rapid development of disruptive technologies means that social and ethical norms often struggle to keep up with technological development. But what if disruptive technologies were to challenge traditional ethical norms and structures?

What if technologies had their own ethical standards?

06-09-2018

Technologies are often seen either as objects of ethical scrutiny or as challenging traditional ethical norms. The advent of autonomous machines, deep learning and big data techniques, blockchain applications and 'smart' technological products raises the need to introduce ethical norms into these devices. The very act of building new and emerging technologies has also become the act of creating specific moral systems within which human and artificial agents will interact through transactions with ...

Technologies are often seen either as objects of ethical scrutiny or as challenging traditional ethical norms. The advent of autonomous machines, deep learning and big data techniques, blockchain applications and 'smart' technological products raises the need to introduce ethical norms into these devices. The very act of building new and emerging technologies has also become the act of creating specific moral systems within which human and artificial agents will interact through transactions with moral implications. But what if technologies introduced and defined their own ethical standards?

What if law shaped technologies?

28-06-2018

Existing legal structures may prove a poor match for new types of disputes raised by disruptive technologies. Can the legal system overcome the temporal gap between the emergence of a technology and the subsequent need for controlling its possible effects and retain both flexibility and responsiveness? What regulation is justified by a particular technology? How should a particular technology be regulated? How can law regulate uncertain and unknown futures in the face of limited knowledge?

Existing legal structures may prove a poor match for new types of disputes raised by disruptive technologies. Can the legal system overcome the temporal gap between the emergence of a technology and the subsequent need for controlling its possible effects and retain both flexibility and responsiveness? What regulation is justified by a particular technology? How should a particular technology be regulated? How can law regulate uncertain and unknown futures in the face of limited knowledge?

What if technologies shaped the law?

07-06-2018

Is there a relationship between law, technological innovation, and regulatory governance? Are technologies ordinary objects of formal law that can fit into the traditional doctrinal classification? What if technologies were legal artefacts that question and challenge the traditional boundaries of legal thought? Has technology been developed to the extent that it exerts the functions of law? Is there a gradual shift from the traditional notion of "code is law" (i.e. code having the effect of law) ...

Is there a relationship between law, technological innovation, and regulatory governance? Are technologies ordinary objects of formal law that can fit into the traditional doctrinal classification? What if technologies were legal artefacts that question and challenge the traditional boundaries of legal thought? Has technology been developed to the extent that it exerts the functions of law? Is there a gradual shift from the traditional notion of "code is law" (i.e. code having the effect of law) to the new conception of "law is code"?

New ways of financing transport infrastructure projects in Europe

01-03-2018

This study assesses a range of mechanisms to finance transport infrastructure projects in cross-border regions, and analyses the strategic role that European Groupings of Territorial Cohesion (EGTC) could play in the planning and implementation of cross-border investments. Special attention is given to often neglected small-scale projects, whose investment is up to €1 million. Building on an in-depth literature review, and supported by interviews with various regional cooperation structures and an ...

This study assesses a range of mechanisms to finance transport infrastructure projects in cross-border regions, and analyses the strategic role that European Groupings of Territorial Cohesion (EGTC) could play in the planning and implementation of cross-border investments. Special attention is given to often neglected small-scale projects, whose investment is up to €1 million. Building on an in-depth literature review, and supported by interviews with various regional cooperation structures and an experts’ workshop, the study analyses the current situation regarding the availability of financing tools for new technologies that enhance transport infrastructure in cross-border regions. It also outlines sources of financial support that could meet investment needs and assesses technological challenges and trends in the field of Intelligent Transport Systems, with a focus on regional interoperability. The study ends with suggestions of policy options to facilitate and accelerate cross border transport infrastructure projects.

Údar seachtarach

EPRS, DG;

Pairtnéirí

Bí ar an eolas

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