KT4D sides with the European Union in a strive for democracy’s health


Threats to democracy in Europe can come from both internal and external sources and can have different forms, including technological revolutions. As we mentioned in Episode 1 of the KT4D blog series on the EU AI Act, the rise of AI, like any new technology, brings forth ethical and security concerns that challenge us all. The European Union has been at the forefront of addressing these issues, particularly regarding the impact of AI on democracy. Knowledge Technologies for Democracy (KT4D) is one of the EU-funded projects monitoring and improving democracy and civic participation in spite of emerging knowledge technologies, such as AI and Big Data.

The European Research Executive Agency (REA) has recently cited the KT4D project on its website page on science for democracy as an example of a project linking research and AI, integrating values of civic participation with software design. KT4D, along with other projects focusing on science and democracy, does not only seek development but offers an opportunity for monitoring and guaranteeing the state of health of our democracies, flagging - when needed - any possible threat.

Together with the KT4D project, also other initiatives funded by the European Union aiming at the preservation of democracy were mentioned in the article. The main focus of these projects are artificial intelligence, disinformation and misinformation, media, hate speech, citizen engagement, and equality.

KT4D focuses on integrating cultural studies and humanities with participatory democracy and humanities. By doing so, it creates tools, guidelines and a Digital Democracy Lab Demonstrators platform. These outcomes will be tested across the use cases in four European cities for validation, namely: Brussels, Madrid, Warsaw, Dublin. Engaging various stakeholders, including policymakers, citizens, CSOs, and software developers, the project seeks to gather insights tailored to their interests and roles within the community.

Moreover, in order to maximise the impact of the results, KT4D has actively contributed to realising the AI, Big Data & Democracy Taskforce, a cluster project composed of four different EU-funded projects supporting together the European Commission’s commitment to “Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies”.

To maintain democracy as an unquestionable value within the European Union, it must be continuously examined and nurtured, and the KT4D project - alongside other EU-funded initiatives - is proud to be part of this process.