We are living in a state of constant technological revolution, and have been for most of the past century, with the pace of progress seeming to increase each year.
Now, even as we sit in a magnetically propelled 600km/h L0 Maglev, we must realize that we cannot outrun the repercussions of our progress. Technology is reshaping the way we learn, the way we handle business, and the way we interact with one another. More importantly, it is challenging the very concepts our society is built upon. One of these fundamental ideas is freedom.
China presents a key example of a state using technological innovation to pursue various initiatives, including establishing a system of social credit scores and using a technological police state to subjugate its Uyghur minority. Meanwhile, Kashmir is the most recent example of a government implementing an information blackout to prevent the use of social media. Governments closer to home are also affected by today’s technology, with democratic processes adversely affected by foreign cyber interference, rampant misinformation, and online echo-chambers. Some of the world’s largest corporations aggregate more data than ever to analyse our habits in order to influence our behaviour. The EU’s most recent attempt of internet regulation, the EUCD, is marred with controversy. Governments around the world have struggled to implement effective regulations, often at the expense of individual liberties for their citizens. Therefore, in the first term, we will analyze and recalibrate the meaning of freedom in our modern context of constant surveillance.
In the second term, our research will focus on life beyond humanity. Artificial intelligence (AI) and mechanical automation is set to render almost 50% of jobs obsolete in the next few decades. However, a majority of companies report they do not have adequate labour, technological capacities, or sufficient understanding of these technologies to properly implement AI. Alongside this, gene editing is becoming more of a reality with technologies such as CRISPR on the verge of being able to alter our physical forms. As these technologies evolve, the gap between reality and law will only grow. Therefore as a PC, we want to explore potential paths for these technologies to be used, as well as ways important ethical and societal dilemmas can be reconciled.
This is the inaugural year for the Technology and Innovation Policy Centre, so our team looks forward to your participation in the Think Tank to help shape our direction. If you have any ideas or would like to contribute do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director, Technology & Innovation Policy Centre
Our Policy Centre:
I am a third year Economics and Management student and this is my second year at the Think Tank. I’m keen on exploring the impact technology has on our day-to-day lives, as well as fundamental concepts such as freedom, and what can be done to reconcile and facilitate that progress.
I am a fourth year Spanish and Philosophy student. Growing up I split my time between China, Canada and the UK. I am most interested in how emerging technologies are going to reshape and redefine the financial and legal sectors; as well as the more general ethical questions raised by issues such as unequal distribution and potential threats to civil liberty.
I am a second year PPE student from Poland. I am interested in political philosophy, multilateral diplomacy, economic inequalities and their relation to technological development.
I am a third year Digital Culture student. I am highly intrigued by the impact Technology and innovation have on economy, governance, culture and the pressing need for new policy frameworks.