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Existing, new and emerging crop protection practices, including mechanical techniques, precision agriculture, biocontrol, plant breeding, induced crop resistance, application of ecological principles to increase biodiversity and use of 'green' plant protection products, could help to reduce the use of conventional plant protection products and were described in an earlier STOA study. This new study provides cost estimates for various alternative crop protection practice options in the EU

Deepfakes are hyper-realistic media products created through artificial intelligence (AI) techniques that manipulate how people look and the things that they appear to say or do. They hit the headlines in 2018 with a deepfake video of Barack Obama, which was designed to raise awareness of their challenges. The accessibility and outputs of deepfake generation tools are improving rapidly, and their use is increasing exponentially. A wide range of malicious uses have been identified, including fraud ...

This study provides an assessment of the risks, challenges and opportunities related to new and emerging technologies that are most expected to shape the future battlefield out to 2040. The study presents implications stemming from consideration of individual technologies, as well as cross-cutting analysis of their interactions with broader political, social, economic, and environmental trends. In doing so, the study highlights a need for EU Institutions and Member States to pursue a broad range ...

The emergence of a new generation of digitally manipulated media – also known as deepfakes – has generated substantial concerns about possible misuse. In response to these concerns, this report assesses the technical, societal and regulatory aspects of deepfakes. The rapid development and spread of deepfakes is taking place within the wider context of a changing media system. An assessment of the risks associated with deepfakes shows that they can be psychological, financial and societal in nature ...

Policy analysis examines and assesses problems to determine possible courses for policy action (policy options). In highly complex or controversial contexts, evidence-based policy options might not be socially acceptable. Here, policy analysis can benefit from a foresight-based approach, which helps investigate the issue holistically and assess considered evidence-based policy options against societal concerns. This is especially important in a parliamentary setting, as it enables analysts to consider ...

Health impact of 5G

Study 22-07-2021

Recent decades have experienced an unparalleled development in wireless communication technologies (mobile telephony, Wi-Fi). The imminent introduction of 5G technology across the EU is expected to bring new opportunities for citizens and businesses, through faster internet browsing, streaming and downloading, as well as through better connectivity. However, 5G, along with 3G and 4G, with which it will operate in parallel for several years, may also pose threats to human health. This STOA report ...

Distributed computing has accelerated COVID-19 research in molecular dynamics as it allows people to make their computers voluntarily available to scientists for virtually screening chemical compounds in an effective manner.

This study explores the prospects of aligning citizens' behaviour with the objectives of the European Green Deal in the domains of food consumption and mobility. Creating a climate-neutral and resource-efficient European economy requires a deep transformation of energy, mobility and food systems, as well as a change in production and consumption practices. Such profound change will impact both individuals and society. At the same time, the transition to sustainability will not succeed if people do ...

Environmental impacts of 5G

Study 30-06-2021

Telecommunication networks use radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to enable wireless communication. These networks have evolved over time, and have been launched in successive generations. The fifth generation of telecommunication networks will operate at frequencies that were not commonly used in previous generations, changing the exposure of wildlife to these waves. This report reviews the literature on the exposure of vertebrates, invertebrates and plants to radio-frequency electromagnetic ...

Artificial intelligence (AI) policy debates are replete with metaphors. Even the term ‘AI’ relies upon a metaphor for the human quality of intelligence, and its development is regularly described as a ‘race’. While metaphors are useful in highlighting some features of their subject, they are so powerful that it can be difficult to imagine or discuss their subject in other terms. Here, we explore some challenges presented by the central metaphor of ‘intelligence’, examine how AI metaphors emphasise ...