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Biases are commonly considered one of the most detrimental effects of artificial intelligence (AI) use. The EU is therefore committed to reducing their incidence as much as possible. However, the existence of biases pre-dates the creation of AI tools. All human societies are biased – AI only reproduces what we are. Therefore, opposing this technology for this reason would simply hide discrimination and not prevent it. It is up to human supervision to use all available means – which are many – to ...

Supported by the arrival of 5G and, soon 6G, digital technologies are evolving towards an artificial intelligence-driven internet of robotic and bionano things. The merging of artificial intelligence (AI) with other technologies such as the internet of things (IoT) gives rise to acronyms such as 'AIoT', 'IoRT' (IoT and robotics) and 'IoBNT' (IoT and bionano technology). Blockchain, augmented reality and virtual reality add even more technological options to the mix. Smart bodies, smart homes, smart ...

Genome editing is the targeted alteration of a few DNA letters within the existing genetic blueprint of an organism. By far the most widely used genome-editing tool is CRISPR-Cas. CRISPR-Cas genome-editing technology can be applied in a number of different ways. The genetic changes that are introduced by means of the SDN1 and SDN2 types of CRISPR-Cas technology do not differ from changes that can occur naturally or result from conventional breeding. While CRISPR-Cas technology is highly accurate, ...

Recent events have multiplied concerns about potential fragmentation of the internet into a multitude of non-interoperable and disconnected 'splinternets'. Composed of thousands of compatible autonomous systems, the internet is by definition technically divided. Yet, the internet was also designed to be an open and global technical infrastructure. The unity and openness of the internet appear to be under great pressure from political, commercial and technological developments. This report explores ...

With a particular focus on artificial intelligence (AI), this study identifies and examines policy options for the EU's data governance framework that align with a data justice perspective. A data justice approach is one that centres on equity, recognition and representation of plural interests, and the creation and preservation of public goods as its principal goals. The analysis offers both an assessment of the EU data governance strategy overall and specific policy options for the AI act, the ...

Demographic, socio-political and economic pressures have made eating meat an unsustainable practice for the long term. However, meat substitutes have proved unpopular, owing to social norms and a lack of trust; some alternatives also contribute heavily to climate change. Could microbial protein be a sustainable alternative to meat that not only solves these multidimensional pressures but also contributes actively to reversing climate change?

The rapid growth of genetic databases worldwide, coupled with fast-decreasing costs and the rapid pace of technological change, has increased the possibility of every human genome on Earth being sequenced this century. This raises ethical and legal questions on data privacy and ownership. While a global genetic database would revolutionise preventive medicine and research, new forms of surveillance, discrimination and power imbalances could emerge. The global interplay between the individual, the ...

Genome editing is a powerful new tool allowing precise additions, deletions and substitutions in the genome. The development of new approaches has made editing of the genome much more precise, efficient, flexible, and less expensive, relative to previous strategies. As with other medical advances, each such application comes with its own set of benefits, risks, ethical issues and societal implications, which may require new regulatory frameworks. Important questions raised with respect to genome ...

What if we built cities on water?

At a Glance 01-06-2022

Since ancient times, from the Roman Empire around the Mediterranean Sea to floating islands used by the Uro people of Peru, civilisations have settled near water. Today, rising sea levels place coastal cities under constant threat. An estimated 250 million people currently live on land below projected annual flood levels, often in coastal cities such as London, Lagos, Mumbai or Shanghai; and this number may rise to 630 million by the end of the century. An additional 318 million people have been ...

In recent years, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine and healthcare has been praised for the great promise it offers, but has also been at the centre of heated controversy. This study offers an overview of how AI can benefit future healthcare, in particular increasing the efficiency of clinicians, improving medical diagnosis and treatment, and optimising the allocation of human and technical resources. The report identifies and clarifies the main clinical, social and ethical risks ...