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Philip Boucher

This tag is associated with 35 posts

Disruption by technology: Impacts on politics, economics and society

Disruption is a specific form of change which occurs relatively quickly or dramatically. Technology has long been seen as a source of disruption to our lives, communities and civilisations, provoking disruptive change at all scales, from individuals’ routine daily activities to dramatic competition between global superpowers. Continue reading

New STOA study on artificial intelligence: How does it work, why does it matter and what can we do about it?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is probably the defining technology of the last decade, and perhaps also the next. Continue reading

STOA roundtable on digital sovereign identity

In the digital age, citizens need to manage a range of online identities that are linked to their offline identity. Continue reading

New STOA study on blockchain for supply chains and international trade

Blockchains combine several techniques – including encryption, consensus methods and distributed storage – to record transactions. Continue reading

STOA meets experts on coronavirus: Challenges, opportunities and the way forward

Striking the right balance between managing the health-related risks of the Covid‑19 pandemic and mitigating the possible socio-economic impacts of the containment measures is a delicate political exercise, being performed on the basis of imperfect data. Continue reading

What if artificial intelligence made work obsolete? [Science and Technology podcast]

The world of work is regularly disrupted by technology development. From mass production to word processing, innovations have regularly transformed our working lives and, with them, the broader economic system. Continue reading

What if technologies replaced humans in elderly care? [Science and Technology podcast]

Europeans are ageing. In 2016, there were 3.3 people of working-age for each citizen over 65 years. By 2070, this will fall to only two. As the population lives longer, our care needs grow, but fewer people will be available to deliver them. Could assistive technologies (ATs) help us to meet the challenges of elderly care? Continue reading

3 Key Questions on Blockchain voting

The techniques used by anti-democratic state and non-state actors to disrupt or influence democratic processes are constantly evolving. The use of algorithms, automation and artificial intelligence is boosting the scope and the efficiency of disinformation campaigns and related cyber-activities. Continue reading

How can technology and the arts work together to benefit society?

Technology and the arts are generally considered as distinct sectors of contemporary society, albeit with some important links akin to those between commercial, industrial and legal sectors. However, technology and the arts have a long and special relationship that permeates all stages of human development. Continue reading

Does technology exacerbate social polarisation?

With the Cambridge Analytica scandal, it became clear how technologies such as social media and techniques such as psychological profiling can be combined in election campaigns with worrying effects. Continue reading

Building a renewable energy future on dialogue and cooperation

The STOA workshop ‘Responding to public opposition to low-carbon energy technologies’ gathered academic experts, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), regulators and grid operators to share their perspectives on managing public opposition to and support for low-carbon energy technologies. Continue reading

What if we could design better technologies through dialogue? [Science and Technology Podcast]

While we often worry about the acceptance of technology in the face of real and potential public opposition, there are frequently gaps between how regulators, developers and experts conceptualise acceptance and opposition. Continue reading

Why are people opposed to low-carbon energy technologies?

In the context of climate change, we often talk about the need to achieve public support for low-carbon energy technologies. However, new installations frequently face public opposition, and there are gaps between how regulators, developers and experts conceptualise and respond. Continue reading

Can technology help to win elections?

At the STOA-ESMH workshop ‘How to win Elections: Reflections on the use and misuse of technology in electoral campaigns’, a full house of parliamentarians, journalists and citizens heard a panel of distinguished scholars and practitioners discuss the role of technology and analytical techniques in contemporary election campaigns. Continue reading

Use and misuse of technology in contemporary election campaigns

Until recently, discussions of technology and elections focused primarily on e-voting. Controversies highlighted the potential for modernising the voting system, as well as the security flaws that open opportunities for interference and manipulation Continue reading

New STOA study examines 3D bio-printing for medical and enhancement purposes

3D printing refers to the production of physical artefacts by the gradual addition of layers of material. Scientists are now exploring methods of 3D bio-printing, defined here as the production of biological and ‘biologically relevant’ materials for medical and human-enhancement purposes. Continue reading

What if social media were open and connected? [Science and Technology Podcast]

Social media platforms are often thought of as open and connected spaces, since they allow users to communicate with a wide range of people and organisations. It seems obvious that to have access to a social network it should be necessary to open an account with the platform, and that on closing the account that access would be lost. Continue reading

New collection asks if we should fear artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging, once again, as one of the most hotly debated technologies on the horizon. This horizon is getting closer and, in some application areas, AI is already here. This has prompted debates about what AI means for the future of humanity, which occasionally includes extreme predictions on employment (such as a job-free society), and existential threats (such as a human-free earth). Continue reading

What if all technologies were inherently social? [Science and Technology Podcast]

How technology has shaped society and how future technologies might affect it in the years to come are subjects for frequent debate. It can be tempting in this context to think of technologies as neutral ‘things’ that can be used for good or bad depending on the user’s intentions and skills. Continue reading

How assistive technologies could make society more inclusive of people with disabilities

Assistive technologies (ATs) are designed to improve the functional capabilities of people with disabilities. Some are relatively low-tech and very familiar, such as reading glasses, crutches and hearing aids. Others are more advanced, using cutting-edge science and technology, with future ATs under development that could have a huge impact on all our lives. Continue reading

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