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The future of work in the EU

24-04-2017

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 are progressively replacing the human workforce for routine tasks ...

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 are progressively replacing the human workforce for routine tasks, and as new types of professional and personal skills are required to respond to technological progress. Active labour-market policies are needed to cater for the changing reality in the world of work. This concerns social security systems, which must adapt to new, constantly changing, requirements, unresolved ethical and practical problems relating to robotics, and the need for new digital skills, which are essential to survive in the new working environment.

What if intensification of farming could enhance biodiversity?

06-03-2017

Could introducing more precision agriculture in Europe allow us to obtain food resilience, while ensuring sustainability and jobs, and taking into account the EU’s wide agricultural diversity? Precision agriculture (PA), or precision farming, involves using technology to improve the ratio between agricultural output (usually food) and agricultural input (land, energy, water, fertilisers, pesticides, etc.). PA consists of using sensors to identify crop or livestock needs precisely (in space or time ...

Could introducing more precision agriculture in Europe allow us to obtain food resilience, while ensuring sustainability and jobs, and taking into account the EU’s wide agricultural diversity? Precision agriculture (PA), or precision farming, involves using technology to improve the ratio between agricultural output (usually food) and agricultural input (land, energy, water, fertilisers, pesticides, etc.). PA consists of using sensors to identify crop or livestock needs precisely (in space or time), and then intervening in a targeted way to maximise the productivity of each plant and animal, whilst minimising any waste of resources.

Ethical Aspects of Cyber-Physical Systems

28-06-2016

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are intelligent robotics systems, linked with the Internet of Things, or technical systems of networked computers, robots and artificial intelligence that interact with the physical world.The project 'Ethical aspects of CPS' aims to provide insights into the potential ethical concerns and related unintended impacts of the possible evolution of CPS technology by 2050. The overarching purpose is to support the European Parliament, the parliamentary bodies, and the individual ...

Cyber-physical systems (CPS) are intelligent robotics systems, linked with the Internet of Things, or technical systems of networked computers, robots and artificial intelligence that interact with the physical world.The project 'Ethical aspects of CPS' aims to provide insights into the potential ethical concerns and related unintended impacts of the possible evolution of CPS technology by 2050. The overarching purpose is to support the European Parliament, the parliamentary bodies, and the individual Members in their anticipation of possible future concerns regarding developments in CPS, robotics and artificial intelligence.The Scientific Foresight study was conducted in three phases:1. A 'technical horizon scan', in the form of briefing papers describing the technical trends and their possible societal, ethical, economic, environmental, political/legal and demographic impacts, and this in seven application domains. 2. The 'soft impact and scenario phase', which analysed soft impacts of CPS, on the basis of the technical horizon scan, for pointing out possible future public concerns via an envisioning exercise and using exploratory scenarios.3. The 'legal backcasting' phase, which resulted in a briefing for the European Parliament identifying the legal instruments that may need to be modified or reviewed, including — where appropriate — areas identified for anticipatory parliamentary work, in accordance with the conclusions reached within the project.The outcome of the study is a policy briefing for MEPs describing legal instruments to anticipate impacts of future developments in the area of cyber-physical systems, such as intelligent robotics systems, linked with the Internet of Things. It is important to note that not all impacts of CPS are easily translated into legislation, as it is often contested whether they are in effect harmful, who is to be held accountable, and to what extent these impacts constitute a public rather than a private concern.

Studio per la commissione Trasporti - Automobili senza conducente: il futuro dei trasporti su strada?

15-03-2016

Le automobili senza conducente potrebbero contribuire al passaggio verso una mobilità in cui il paradigma tradizionale possesso/utilizzo dell'automobile potrebbe essere sostituito da modelli più sostenibili nel settore dei trasporti. Ciononostante, potrebbero verificarsi situazioni sfavorevoli, ad esempio qualora la diffusione dei veicoli automatizzati concorresse a far crescere la domanda di trasporti privati e le relative esternalità negative. Le autorità europee, nazionali e locali dovrebbero ...

Le automobili senza conducente potrebbero contribuire al passaggio verso una mobilità in cui il paradigma tradizionale possesso/utilizzo dell'automobile potrebbe essere sostituito da modelli più sostenibili nel settore dei trasporti. Ciononostante, potrebbero verificarsi situazioni sfavorevoli, ad esempio qualora la diffusione dei veicoli automatizzati concorresse a far crescere la domanda di trasporti privati e le relative esternalità negative. Le autorità europee, nazionali e locali dovrebbero sostenere e/o coordinare lo sviluppo di sistemi di trasporto automatizzato in modo da subordinare lo sviluppo di veicoli connessi e altamente automatizzati al raggiungimento dell'obiettivo di ridurre l'esternalità nel trasporto su strada.

Autore esterno

Roberta Frisoni, Andrea Dall’Oglio, Craig Nelson, James Long, Christoph Vollath, Davide Ranghetti and Sarah McMinimy

Horizon 2020: Key Enabling Technologies (KETs), Booster for European Leadership in the Manufacturing Sector

15-10-2014

Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) are crucial for the competitiveness and renewal of European manufacturing. This study, prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), examines the nature of KETs, the drivers and barriers to KETs deployment. It includes an assessment of the current KETs situation in the EU in a global perspective. A broad overview of European policies and financing instruments precedes an in-depth assessment of the role of ...

Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) are crucial for the competitiveness and renewal of European manufacturing. This study, prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), examines the nature of KETs, the drivers and barriers to KETs deployment. It includes an assessment of the current KETs situation in the EU in a global perspective. A broad overview of European policies and financing instruments precedes an in-depth assessment of the role of KETs in Horizon 2020. The analysis continues with a look at the contribution of KETs to growth, their impact on employment and the skills requirements for KETs.

Autore esterno

Maurits Butter, Noëlle Fischer, Govert Gijsbers, Marcel de Heide, Frans van der Zee (TNO) ; Christian Hartmann (Joanneum Research)

Human Rights Implications of the Usage of Drones and Unmanned Robots in Warfare

03-05-2013

In recent years, the use of drones and other unmanned robots in warfare and other situations of violence has increased exponentially, and States continue to invest significantly into increasing the operational autonomy of such systems. The present study provides an overview of the current and likely future use of such systems and examines the relevant legal implications under human rights law, international humanitarian law and the UN Charter. The study concludes that the present sense of uncertainty ...

In recent years, the use of drones and other unmanned robots in warfare and other situations of violence has increased exponentially, and States continue to invest significantly into increasing the operational autonomy of such systems. The present study provides an overview of the current and likely future use of such systems and examines the relevant legal implications under human rights law, international humanitarian law and the UN Charter. The study concludes that the present sense of uncertainty as to the applicable legal standards, the rapid development and proliferation of drone and robotic technology, and the perceived lack of transparency and accountability of current policies have the potential of polarizing the international community, undermining the rule of law and, ultimately, of destabilizing the international security environment as a whole. Accordingly, the study develops the following policy recommendations for European foreign policy: 1. First, the EU should make the promotion of the rule of law in relation to the development, proliferation and use of unmanned weapons systems a declared priority of European foreign policy. 2. In parallel, the EU should launch a broad inter-governmental policy dialogue aiming to achieve international consensus: (a) on the legal standards governing the use of currently operational unmanned weapon systems, and (b) on the legal constraints and/or ethical reservations which may apply with regard to the future development, proliferation and use of increasingly autonomous weapon systems. 3. Based on the resulting international consensus, the EU should work towards the adoption of a binding international agreement, or a non-binding code of conduct, aiming to restrict the development, proliferation or use of certain unmanned weapon systems in line with the legal consensus achieved.

Autore esterno

Nils MELZER (Geneva Centre for Security Policy - GCSP and Swiss Chair of International Humanitarian Law, Geneva Academy - ADH)

Drones: Engaging in Debate and Accountability

25-04-2013

Remotely piloted vehicles or aircraft are not an invention of the late 20th or early 21st century. Adding weapons to UAVs was proposed as early as the late 1940s, although these armed UAVs only came into use decades later. Remotely-piloted systems are also used in science, agriculture, environmental protection, goods transport and border security. New opportunities, such the use of RPAS for regulating air traffic, reveal the challenges in cyber security, privacy protection, national and public security ...

Remotely piloted vehicles or aircraft are not an invention of the late 20th or early 21st century. Adding weapons to UAVs was proposed as early as the late 1940s, although these armed UAVs only came into use decades later. Remotely-piloted systems are also used in science, agriculture, environmental protection, goods transport and border security. New opportunities, such the use of RPAS for regulating air traffic, reveal the challenges in cyber security, privacy protection, national and public security, and structural changes. Shifting demands, new UAV market entrants and increasing competition in the global market will challenge traditional (combat) aircraft industry structures. Innovation requires political and societal debate. Innovation in defence requires even more of this debate. Drones do not alter what the military does. Debate, organised at the European level, could develop a set of rules regarding the use of RPAS.

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