09-12-2020 15:00
Digital human rights and the future of democracy: Lessons from the pandemic

Annual Lecture
STOA Annual Lecture STOA Annual Lecture
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This year, STOA's Annual Lecture will focus on the disruptive effects of the digital revolution upon democracy and the protection of civil liberties and human rights in the context of the current pandemic. It will examine the impacts of digital technology on democratic decision-making and the notion of democratic citizenship. The Annual Lecture 2020, chaired by STOA Chair Eva KAILI (S&D, Greece), will investigate the challenges associated with the growing datafication of our societies and the need to reclaim data sovereignty in the era of artificial intelligence.

Following the opening remarks of the STOA Chair, the European Commission Vice-President for the European Way of Life, Margaritis SCHINAS, will deliver an introductory speech on the subject of the event. The keynote lecture will be delivered by Shoshana ZUBOFF, Charles Edward Wilson Professor Emerita of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and award-winning author of 'The Age of Surveillance Capitalism'. Professor ZUBOFF is a world-class thinker whose research is focused on the contested digital transition, its relationship to the future of capitalism, and the consequences for individuals and society.

Her keynote speech will be followed by a panel discussion on various aspects of key new technologies, with the participation of Members of the European Parliament and two eminent experts: Fredrik HEINTZ, Associate professor of Computer Science at Linköping University, Sweden and President of the Swedish AI Society, and Karen YEUNG, Professor of Law, Ethics and Informatics, Birmingham Law School and School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham, UK. An online public debate will close the event.


'Our digital century was to have been democracy's Golden Age. Instead, we enter its third decade marked by extreme asymmetries of knowledge and the power that accrues to such knowledge, as surveillance capitalism seizes control of information and learning itself. Today the unaccountable power of the tech companies threatens to remake society as it unmakes democracy, exposing a void where democratic power should be and alerting us to our historical condition: We march naked into the digital century without the charters of rights, legal frameworks, regulatory paradigms, and institutions necessary to ensure a digital future that is compatible with democracy. If digital technologies are to advance the aspirations of a democratic people in our time, then we must invent the laws and institutions that will make it so.'

- Shoshana Zuboff, author, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Professor emerita, Harvard Business School


#Lecture2020


Programme

  • 15:00-15:10, Opening remarks, Eva KAILI, STOA Chair
  • 15:10-15:25, Introductory speech, Margaritis SCHINAS, European Commission Vice-President for Promoting the European Way of Life
  • 15:25-15:55, Keynote speech, Professor Shoshana ZUBOFF
  • 15:55-16:55, Discussion with experts, Members of the European Parliament and the public, including:

Fredrik HEINTZ, Associate professor of Computer Science at Linköping University, Sweden; President of Swedish AI Society, Director of Graduate School of Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software (WASP)

Karen YEUNG, Professor of Law, Ethics and Informatics, Birmingham Law School and School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

  • 16:55-17:00, Closing remarks, Eva KAILI, STOA Chair