Insights and Innovations: KT4D’s Inaugural Webinar explored the Benefits and Challenges of AI and Big Data for a More Inclusive Civic Participation

Exploring the Benefits and Challenges of AI and Big Data for a more Inclusive Civic Participation

In an age characterised by the deep integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data into our daily lives, their impact on democratic governance is deeply significant. These technological advancements have the potential to completely transform how societies participate in democratic processes. They can enhance governance but also bring forth significant challenges. The Knowledge Technologies for Democracy (KT4D) initiative is committed to harnessing the capabilities of these Knowledge Technologies in a manner that prioritises the human perspective and ethical principles, advocating for technology that genuinely serves the interests of people while upholding their rights and values. On Monday, October 9, 2023, KT4D hosted its first webinar titled ‘Exploring the Benefits and Challenges of AI and Big Data for a More Inclusive Civic Participation’, within which our five panellists presented our four Use Cases.

The webinar was free to attend and attracted a diverse audience, including researchers, policy-makers, civil society organisations, tech professionals, and was open to anyone interested in the intersection of AI, Big Data, and democracy.  

Hosted by Trust-IT Services the webinar was moderated by  Jennifer Edmond, who is an Associate Professor of Digital Humanities and Culture at Trinity College Dublin and is also KT4D’s project coordinator. Jennifer introduced the overall structure of the three year project which began in February 2023. Anna Björk, Research Area Lead at Demos Helsinki, talked about the importance of ethical perspectives and normative considerations in technological Governance which are being taken into consideration for the Brussels Use Case. Andres del Álamo Cienfuegos, Digital Anthropologist, UX Researcher, Sociologist & Project Manager at Fundación Cibervoluntarios, presented on the Madrid Use Case and spoke about the development of educational materials and video games centred around critical digital literacy and knowledge technologies. Bogna Gawrońska-Nowak, Associate Professor at the Instytut Rozwoju Miast i Regionów presented the Warsaw Use case and discussed the first meeting of the pilot Use case in Kraków which was held this week. She highlighted some initial results from this meeting. Our final speaker Eleonora Lima, Research Fellow in Digital Humanities at Trinity College Dublin, discussed the importance of improving self-awareness in academic and industrial software development in relation to the Dublin Use Case.

The webinar ended with an interactive Q&A session where many actively participated and expressed their interest in the initiative. The webinar certainly represented a great opportunity for all, not only to have insights on KT4D but also to discuss and connect with experts.

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