Essay by Anastasia Buyalskaya, Marcos Gallo and Colin Camerer: “In this short essay we argue that social science is entering a golden age, marked by explosive growth in new data and analytic methods, interdisciplinarity, and a recognition that both of those ingredients are necessary to solve hard problems. Two examples are given to illustrate these themes, which are behavioral economics and social networks. Numerous other specific study examples are then given. We also address the challenges that accompany the three positive trends, which include informatics, career incentives, and the search for unifying frameworks….(More)”.
Collection of Essays by NL Digital Government: “Smart cities are urban areas where large amounts of data are collected using sensors to enable a range of processes in the cities to run smoothly. However, the use of data is only legally and ethically allowed if the data is gathered and processed in a proper manner. It is not clear to many cities what data (personal or otherwise) about citizens may be gathered and processed, and under what conditions. The main question addressed by this essay concerns the degree to which data on citizens may be reused in the context of smart cities.
The emphasis here is on the reuse of data. Among the aspects featured are smart cities, the Internet of Things, big data, and nudging. Diferent types of data reuse will also be identifed using a typology that helps clarify and assess the desirability of data reuse. The heart of this essay is an examination of the most relevant legal and ethical frameworks for data reuse.
The most relevant legal frameworks are privacy and human rights, the protection of personal data and administrative law (in particular, the general principles of sound administration). The most relevant ethical frameworks are deontology, utilitarianism, and value ethics. The ethical perspectives ofer assessment frameworks that can be used within the legal frameworks, for drawing up codes of conduct, for example, and other forms of self-regulation. Observance of the legal and ethical frameworks referred to in this essay very probably means that data is being used and reused in an appropriate manner. Failure to observe these frameworks means that such use and reuse is not appropriate.
Four recommendations are made on the basis of these conclusions. Local authorities in smart cities must commit themselves to the appropriate reuse of data through public-private partnerships, actively involve citizens in their considerations of what factors are relevant, ensure transparency on data-related matters and in such considerations, and gradually continue the development of smart cities through pilot schemes….(More)”.
CRS Report: “Artificial intelligence (AI) is a rapidly growing field of technology with potentially significant implications for national security. As such, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and other nations are developing AI applications for a range of military functions. AI research is underway in the fields of intelligence collection and analysis, logistics, cyber operations, information operations, command and control, and in a variety of semiautonomous and autonomous vehicles.
Already, AI has been incorporated into military operations in Iraq and Syria. Congressional action has the potential to shape the technology’s development further, with budgetary and legislative decisions influencing the growth of military applications as well as the pace of their adoption.
AI technologies present unique challenges for military integration, particularly because the bulk of AI development is happening in the commercial sector. Although AI is not unique in this regard, the defense acquisition process may need to be adapted for acquiring emerging technologies like AI. In addition, many commercial AI applications must undergo significant modification prior to being functional for the military.
A number of cultural issues also challenge AI acquisition, as some commercial AI companies are averse to partnering with DOD due to ethical concerns, and even within the department, there can be resistance to incorporating AI technology into existing weapons systems and processes.
Potential international rivals in the AI market are creating pressure for the United States to compete for innovative military AI applications. China is a leading competitor in this regard, releasing a plan in 2017 to capture the global lead in AI development by 2030. Currently, China is primarily focused on using AI to make faster and more well-informed decisions, as well as on developing a variety of autonomous military vehicles. Russia is also active in military AI development, with a primary focus on robotics.
Although AI has the potential to impart a number of advantages in the military context, it may also introduce distinct challenges. AI technology could, for example, facilitate autonomous operations, lead to more informed military decisionmaking, and increase the speed and scale of military action. However, it may also be unpredictable or vulnerable to unique forms of manipulation. As a result of these factors, analysts hold a broad range of opinions on how influential AI will be in future combat operations. While a small number of analysts believe that the technology will have minimal impact, most believe that AI will have at least an evolutionary—if not revolutionary—effect….(More)”.
Report by Unesco: “Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasingly becoming the veiled decision-maker of our times. The diverse technical applications loosely associated with this label drive more and more of our lives. They scan billions of web pages, digital trails and sensor-derived data within micro-seconds, using algorithms to prepare and produce significant decisions.
AI and its constitutive elements of data, algorithms, hardware, connectivity and storage exponentially increase the power of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). This is a major opportunity for Sustainable Development, although risks also need to be addressed.
It should be noted that the development of AI technology is part of the wider ecosystem of Internet and other advanced ICTs including big data, Internet of Things, blockchains, etc. To assess AI and other advanced ICTs’ benefits and challenges – particularly for communications and information – a useful approach is UNESCO’s Internet Universality ROAM principles.These principles urge that digital development be aligned with human Rights, Openness, Accessibility and Multi-stakeholder governance to guide the ensemble of values, norms, policies, regulations, codes and ethics that govern the development and use of AI….(More)”
About: “The Web was designed to bring people together and make knowledge freely available. It has changed the world for good and improved the lives of billions. Yet, many people are still unable to access its benefits and, for others, the Web comes with too many unacceptable costs.
Everyone has a role to play in safeguarding the future of the Web. The Contract for the Web was created by representatives from over 80 organizations, representing governments, companies and civil society, and sets out commitments to guide digital policy agendas. To achieve the Contract’s goals, governments, companies, civil society and individuals must commit to sustained policy development, advocacy, and implementation of the Contract’s text…(More)”.
About: “What do companies know about you? How do they handle your data? And who do they share it with?
Access My Info (AMI) is a project that can help answer these questions by assisting you in making data access requests to companies. AMI includes a web application that helps users send companies data access requests, and a research methodology designed to understand the responses companies make to these requests. Past AMI projects have shed light on how companies treat user data and contribute to digital privacy reforms around the world.
What are data access requests?
A data access request is a letter you can send to any company with products/services that you use. The request asks that the company disclose all the information it has about you and whether or not it has shared your data with any third-parties. If the place where you live has data protection laws that include the right to data access then companies may be legally obligated to respond…
AMI has made personal data requests in jurisdictions around the world and found common patterns.
- There are significant gaps between data access laws on paper and the law in practice;
- People have consistently encountered barriers to accessing their data.
Together with our partners in each jurisdiction, we have used Access My Info to set off a dialog between users, civil society, regulators, and companies…(More)”
Essay by Claudia Chwalisz: “….Deliberative bodies such as citizens’ councils, assemblies, and juries are often called “deliberative mini-publics” in academic literature. They are just one aspect of deliberative democracy and involve randomly selected citizens spending a significant period of time developing informed recommendations for public authorities. Many scholars emphasize two core defining features: deliberation (careful and open discussion to weigh the evidence about an issue) and representativeness, achieved through sortition (random selection).
Of course, the principles of deliberation and sortition are not new. Rooted in ancient Athenian democracy, they were used throughout various points of history until around two to three centuries ago. Evoked by the Greek statesman Pericles in 431 BCE, the ideas—that “ordinary citizens, though occupied with the pursuits of industry, are still fair judges of public matters” and that instead of being a “stumbling block in the way of action . . . [discussion] is an indispensable preliminary to any wise action at all”—faded to the background when elections came to dominate the contemporary notion of democracy.
But the belief in the ability of ordinary citizens to deliberate and participate in public decisionmaking has come back into vogue over the past several decades. And it is modern applications of the principles of sortition and deliberation, meaning their adaption in the context of liberal representative democratic institutions, that make them “democratic innovations” today. This is not to say that there are no longer proponents who claim that governance should be the domain of “experts” who are committed to govern for the general good and have superior knowledge to do it. Originally espoused by Plato, the argument in favor of epistocracy—rule by experts—continues to be reiterated, such as in Jason Brennan’s 2016 book Against Democracy. It is a reminder that the battle of ideas for democracy’s future is nothing new and requires constant engagement.
Today’s political context—characterized by political polarization; mistrust in politicians, governments, and fellow citizens; voter apathy; increasing political protests; and a new context of misinformation and disinformation—has prompted politicians, policymakers, civil society organizations, and citizens to reflect on how collective public decisions are being made in the twenty-first century. In particular, political tensions have raised the need for new ways of achieving consensus and taking action on issues that require long-term solutions, such as climate change and technology use. Assembling ordinary citizens from all parts of society to deliberate on a complex political issue has thus become even more appealing.
Some discussions have returned to exploring democracy’s deliberative roots. An ongoing study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is analyzing over 700 cases of deliberative mini-publics commissioned by public authorities to inform their decisionmaking. The forthcoming report assesses the mini-publics’ use, principles of good practice, and routes to institutionalization.3 This new area of work stems from the 2017 OECD Recommendation of the Council on Open Government, which recommends that adherents (OECD members and some nonmembers) grant all stakeholders, including citizens, “equal and fair opportunities to be informed and consulted and actively engage them in all phases of the policy-cycle” and “promote innovative ways to effectively engage with stakeholders to source ideas and co-create solutions.” A better understanding of how public authorities have been using deliberative mini-publics to inform their decisionmaking around the world, not just in OECD countries, should provide a richer understanding of what works and what does not. It should also reveal the design principles needed for mini-publics to effectively function, deliver strong recommendations, increase legitimacy of the decisionmaking process, and possibly even improve public trust….(More)”.
Press Release: “…the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) and Partners for Review launched a landmark new paper that identifies the factors preventing countries from fully exploiting their data ecosystem and proposes solutions to strengthening statistical capacities to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Ninety percent of the data in the world has been created in the past two years, yet many countries with low statistical capacity struggle to produce, analyse and communicate the data necessary to advance sustainable development. At the same time, demand for more and better data and statistics is increasingly massively, with international agreements like the 2030 Agenda placing unprecedented demand on countries to report on more than 230 indicators.
Using PARIS21’s Capacity Development 4.0 (CD 4.0) approach, the paper shows that leveraging data available in the data ecosystem for official reporting requires new capacity in terms of skills and knowledge, management, politics and power. The paper also shows that these capacities need to be developed at both the organisational and systemic level, which involves the various channels and interactions that connect different organisations.
Aimed at national statistics offices, development professionals and others involved in the national data ecosystem, the paper provides a roadmap that can help national statistical systems develop and strengthen the capacities of traditional and new actors in the data ecosystem to improve both the follow-up and review process of the 2030 Agenda as well as the data architecture for sustainable development at the national level…(More)”.
Report by Amnesty International: “Google and Facebook help connect the world and provide crucial services to billions. To participate meaningfully in today’s economy and society, and to realize their human rights, people rely on access to the internet—and to the tools Google and Facebook offer. But Google and Facebook’s platforms come at a systemic cost. The companies’ surveillance-based business model is inherently incompatible with the right to privacy and poses a threat to a range of other rights including freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of thought, and the right to equality and non-discrimination….(More)”.
New Site and Report by UNICEF and The GovLab: “RD4C seeks to build awareness regarding the need for special attention to data issues affecting children—especially in this age of changing technology and data linkage; and to engage with governments, communities, and development actors to put the best interests of children and a child rights approach at the center of our data activities. The right data in the right hands at the right time can significantly improve outcomes for children. The challenge is to understand the potential risks and ensure that the collection, analysis and use of data on children does not undermine these benefits.
Drawing upon field-based research and established good practice, RD4C aims to highlight and support best practice data responsibility; identify challenges and develop practical tools to assist practitioners in evaluating and addressing them; and encourage a broader discussion on actionable principles, insights, and approaches for responsible data management.