Mapping European Attitudes towards Technological Change and its Governance.

European Tech Insights 2021 by Oscar Jonsson and Carlos Luca de Tena: “…is composed of two studies: Part I focuses on how the pandemic has altered our habits and perceptions with regards to healthcare, work, social networks and the urban space. Part II reveals how Europeans are embracing technologies (from AI to automation) and what are the implications for our democracies and societies.

One year on from the outbreak of Covid-19, the findings of European Tech Insights 2021 reveal that the pandemic has accelerated the acceptance of technologies among Europeans but also increased awareness of the downsides of technological development….

Democracy in the Digital Age

Not only are citizens changing their attitudes and becoming more willing to use new technologies; they are also supportive of democracy going digital.

– A vast majority of Europeans (72%) would like to be able to vote in elections through their smartphone, while only 17% would oppose it. Strongest support is found in Poland (80%), Estonia (79%), Italy (78%) and Spain (73%).

– 51% of Europeans support reducing the number of national parliamentarians and giving those seats to an algorithm. Over 60% of Europeans aged 25-34 and 56% of those aged 34-44 are excited about this idea.

Embracing Technology

The research found growing support towards increased adoption of AI and new uses of technology:

– One third of Europeans would prefer that AI algorithms decide their social welfare payments or approve their visa for working in a foreign country, rather than a human civil servant

– A majority of Europeans support the use of facial technology for verifying the identity of citizens if that makes their lives more convenient. Increased support is seen in Italy (56%), Sweden (47%) or The Netherlands (45%).

– More than a third of Europeans would prefer to have a package delivered to them by a robot rather than a human…..(More)”.