KT4D’s contribution to the European Researchers' Night in Ireland

KT4D’s contribution to the European Researchers' Night in Ireland

KT4D contributed to the European Researchers' Night held in Dublin on Friday, September 29, 2023, on the Trinity College Dublin campus.

The European Researchers' Night is a Europe-wide public event that showcases the multifaceted world of science and how it influences the daily lives of citizens in entertaining and interactive ways. Each year it attracts more than 1.5 million people across Europe and beyond. On Friday, September 29, 2023, this event was held in 26 different countries. Its primary objective is to bridge the gap between research and the public, highlighting exceptional research projects spanning Europe and boosting the curiosity of young individuals in the realms of science and research careers.

This year, KT4D participated in the event through START, the European Researchers’ Night  in Ireland led by Trinity College Dublin. Talks, demonstrations, tours, activities and much more were held. KT4D participated via one of ADAPT’s exhibits.

ADAPT, world-leading SFI Research Centre for AI-Driven Digital Content Technology, organised a number of family-friendly interactive exhibits to showcase cutting edge research on artificial intelligence (AI) by exploring the impact of AI on creativity, health, and entertainment. KT4D in particular took part in ADAPT's AI Dilemma Café, where coffee and chats about people’s interactions with AI were exchanged.

KT4D is exploring ways to enhance democracy and civic participation through evolving knowledge technologies like AI and Big Data. Its aim is to enable society to employ their benefits for community empowerment, and addressing ethical, legal, and cultural concerns. It contributed to the discussion over the use of AI to track disinformation and of the possible breach of the right to free speech stemming from this use. During the event KT4D discussed the case of the 2023 disinformation machine’. An anonymous developer built an AI machine using OpenAI-powered technology to raise awareness of the danger that machine-made propaganda represents.

The name of the machine was CounterCloud, it automatically produced disinformation articles. Its news were so accurate that they generated doubt over the original articles. The result was to demonstrate how easy, effective and cheap it is to create mass propaganda. The machine was effective to the point that it has ot been released to the public for security reasons. The discussion further evolved in analysing whether it actually was a necessary measure to protect democratic information and whether it should have been released by making it clear that it was a propaganda machine.

As CounterCloud’s case evidences, the relationship between AI and our lives still needs  to be discussed in depth. Democracy is, and further will be, influenced by AI. KT4D is trying to discuss, understand and give answers to civil society on what we should use to our advantage and on what we should be aware of.