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Potentially negative effects of internet use

In-Depth Analysis 13-05-2020

It is increasingly recognised that the internet, in spite of all its benefits to society, can also be correlated with significant harms to individuals and society. Some of these harms have been studied extensively, particularly harms to privacy, harms associated with security and cybercrime, and harms resulting from digital divides. This report covers less studied but equally important harms: harms associated with internet use that concern the health, well-being a functioning of individuals, and ...

This report examines how digital technology change is affecting artistic activity and how artistic activity is affecting digital technology. Artistic activity is broadly defined to include design, film, computer games, architecture, music and fashion as well as art. The focus is on digital technology’s role in creative activity. The study examines global trends with a particular focus on the European Union (EU). It describes likely future trends and sets out policy options to encourage activity at ...

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 explains why AI matters by reviewing some of the key opportunities and challenges it presents, but it does so with reference to the functionality and readiness of the technology. The first section focuses on the opportunities and challenges presented by today’s AI while the second explores longer-term speculative opportunities and challenges that are contingent upon future developments that may never happen.

Recent reports of celebrity singer, Taylor Swift, deploying facial recognition technology to spot stalkers at her concerts raised many eyebrows. What started out as a tool to unlock your smartphone or tag photos for you on social media is surreptitiously becoming a means of monitoring people in their daily lives without their consent. What impact and implications are facial recognition technology applications likely to have, and what can be done to ensure the fair engagement of this technology with ...

With the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it became clear how technologies such as social media and techniques such as psychological profiling can be combined in election campaigns with worrying effects. Personalised political messaging is highly automated. It starts and ends with social media, which provides both the data for categorising users and the medium for targeting them with personalised messages. Messages might be designed to favour a particular candidate or to encourage widespread discord ...

While we often talk about the need to achieve acceptance of technology in the face of real and potential public opposition, there are frequently gaps between how regulators, developers and experts conceptualise acceptance and opposition. Here, we examine some prominent conceptualisations and suggest that, rather than responding to public opposition with information campaigns designed to transform citizens into acceptors, strategies for managing public acceptability should include meaningful dialogues ...

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 ...

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 ...

What if law shaped technologies?

At a Glance 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?