Brussels Rountables: 2
Jun
7
9:00 AM09:00

Brussels Rountables: 2

How should we regulate online speech?


Everywhere they look legislators see an online hydra threatening our safety and, even, democracy itself. Both the British Prime Minister, Theresa May and Nato General Secretary, Michael Fallon, have accused Russian President Vladimir Putin, of “weaponising information” to, in May’s words, “undermine free societies”, in Fallon’s, create a “post-truth age”. The German Justice Ministry has passed a law threatening fines of up to €50m against Internet companies that do not remove "criminal content". France and the UK are threatening “a new legal liability for tech companies if they fail to remove unacceptable content".

The agenda to regulate speech, particularly “hate speech” relies ultimately on a body of international law that was designed to constrain states that would incite hatred against vulnerable minorities. Yet we find ourselves in a world where police arrest people for comments posted on social media and governments threaten retribution against people and organisations posting “false” information. What justification do governments and policymakers have to take this approach? What is the problem they are trying to solve?

Places at this event are limited. If you would like to attend then please contact:  Paul MacDonnell

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Brussels Rountables: 3
Jun
12
9:00 AM09:00

Brussels Rountables: 3

Will Distributed Ledger Technologies Remake the World?


Distributed ledger (DLT), or Blockchain technologies, could replace a 4,000-year old system of recording contracts and transactions that relies on legal authorities to both register and enforce agreements. Distributed databases that can indelibly record transactions, including the transfer of ownership of all kinds of property, without any need for a central record or authority are now possible. The economic and political implications are significant.

DLT promises to lower the cost of creating secure contracts, of establishing registers of ownership, and of transmission of payments. Whether establishing land ownership in countries with poor legal systems or reducing the need for financial institutions to hold regulatory capital against non-payment of debts, DLT could significantly accelerate
economic productivity. However, the early adoption of blockchain technology as the basis for digital currencies, notably Bitcoin, has led to security breaches and wild
financial speculation that have dented confidence the potential benefits of DLT.

Are digital currencies part of the future of DLT or has the news and hype about Bitcoin just been a distraction from the real innovative potential of the underlying technology? What are the privacy and security risks of DLT? J

Places at this event are limited. If you would like to attend then please contact:  Paul MacDonnell

 

 

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Brussels Rountables: 1
May
16
9:00 AM09:00

Brussels Rountables: 1

Platforms: Anti-competitive bullies or builders of the 21st century economy?


The European Commission is considering regulating the relationship between internet platforms and their businesses users. Based on consultation with stakeholders and a study commissioned from ZEW it has identified practices that it says threaten Europe’s transition to the Digital Single Market. 

Consultations with Europe’s businesses are, to date, inconclusive in determining whether there exists any systematic problem in their relationship with digital platforms. Are complaints against platforms just a natural and temporary consequence of getting used to a digital world that has vast human potential — a world in which many workers and businesses do not yet feel comfortable? Or do digital platforms herald a world where workers and small businesses will become, in effect, vassals—while platforms, themselves, will remain subject to no democratic accountability?

Places at this event are limited. If you would like to attend then please contact:  Paul MacDonnell

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Digital Frontrunner Roundtable VIII
May
29
8:30 AM08:30

Digital Frontrunner Roundtable VIII

How will smart technologies help us to live and travel in the city of the future?


The future is urban

There is a clear relationship between urbanisation, economic growth and per capita income. According to the World Bank nearly all countries that reach middle income status are at least 50 percent urbanized. All high-income countries are 70–80 percent urbanized. Worldwide, cities are taking a greater share of the world’s population—by 2050 70 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities. But will cities themselves be able to cope without reducing the quality of life for their inhabitants? Growth in urbanisation is likely to put a greater strain on transport, health, education, energy, and social services. But if we see cities as systems—for moving people between home, work and centres of cultural and social life, for the provision of services such as energy, transport, education, public administration, and even social services—then we can begin to imagine how smart technology could play an important role.

Cities will need more energy and so planners, developers and homeowners will look to technologies that tell energy suppliers when nobody is home or in the office, allowing heating and lighting to be switched off. Police forces may wish to use predictive analytics to anticipate spikes in crime. Social services may even use Artificial Intelligence to anticipate the need for intervention to protect vulnerable children and adults.

Transport systems—for passengers and for freight—will be transformed. Self-driving cars, lorries and drones will enable the delivery of people and goods to be more efficient, more equitable and less environmentally harmful. A system of infrastructure management will minimise down time by using sensors connected to the Internet of Things. These will provide structural information about bridges and overpasses that will allow preventative maintenance, ensuring that disruptions from more serious deterioration is minimised. Trains and buses will be made available in response to real-time information about demand. It will be the same with the driverless vehicles, which citizens will be able to summon, like a taxi, to take them across town. Owning a car will no longer be a necessity.


The Roundtable

The roundtable will begin with two 15-minute talks. The first by Sarah Hunter, Director of Public Policy at X (formerly Google[x]), and the second by Jan Hellåker, Program Director of Drive Sweden, a national strategic innovation program launched by the Swedish government. Following this, all participants will take part in a moderated discussion.

Places at this event are limited. If you would like to attend then please contact: tim.conway@globaldigitalfoundation.org

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Digital Frontrunner Roundtable VII
May
18
12:30 PM12:30

Digital Frontrunner Roundtable VII

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: A multi-disciplinary / multi-stakeholder half-day conversation


The promise of AI and Machine Learning

Software and machines that can see and distinguish objects, people, and animals, understand and translate speech, read scientific literature, and solve complex problems, are poised to enter our lives. Whether running software or animating robots Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning promise radical change in sectors such as medicine, education, elderly care, transport and manufacturing. Like previous revolutions—printing, electricity, the combustion engine, transistors, computers and the internet—AI and Machine Learning will augment and disrupt the world of work. They will turbocharge some jobs and replace others. They will also create new industries that call for workers with skills that do not yet exist. Policymakers must start thinking now about how to realise the potential for AI and Machine Learning to increase economic productivity and to improve the lives of millions—especially people in the developing world. What should they do to encourage the adoption of these technologies? And can they legitimately do so without also responding to their potential negative impact? The downside for some—who may lose their livelihood. And the dark side—that AI and Machine Learning could enable discrimination or economic exclusion?


The Roundtable

The roundtable will begin with three 15-minute talks. The first by Anna Ukhanova, Technical Program Manager, Google Research Europe, the second by Marco Vivarelli, one of the world’s leading economists specialising on the interrelationship between innovation, employment and skills, and the third by Erik Mannens, Professor at the Data Science Lab and CTO, Data Science at iMinds. Following this, all participants will take part in a moderated discussion.

Places at this event are limited. If you would like to attend then please contact: tim.conway@globaldigitalfoundation.org

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Digital Frontrunner Roundtable VI
May
16
12:45 PM12:45

Digital Frontrunner Roundtable VI

How will Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Change the World?


The promise of AI and Machine Learning

Software and machines that can see and distinguish objects, people, and animals, understand and translate speech, read scientific literature, and solve complex problems, are poised to enter our lives. Whether running software or animating robots Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning promise radical change in sectors such as medicine, education, elderly care, transport and manufacturing. Like previous revolutions—printing, electricity, the combustion engine, transistors, computers and the internet—AI and Machine Learning will augment and disrupt the world of work. They will turbocharge some jobs and replace others. They will also create new industries that call for workers with skills that do not yet exist. Policymakers must start thinking now about how to realise the potential for AI and Machine Learning to increase economic productivity and to improve the lives of millions—especially people in the developing world. What should they do to encourage the adoption of these technologies? And can they legitimately do so without also responding to their potential negative impact? The downside for some—who may lose their livelihood. And the dark side—that AI and Machine Learning could enable discrimination or economic exclusion?


The Roundtable

The roundtable will begin with three 15-minute talks. The first by Anna Ukhanova, Technical Program Manager, Google Research Europe, the second by Anna Felländer, Digital Economist and Senior Advisor and Board Member of the Swedish House of Finance, and the third by Anders Kofod-Petersen, Professor, Department of Computer and Information Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Following this, all participants will take part in a moderated discussion.

Places at this event are limited. If you would like to attend then please contact: tim.conway@globaldigitalfoundation.org

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Digital Frontrunner Roundtable V
May
10
12:45 PM12:45

Digital Frontrunner Roundtable V

Robots, Automation and the Growth of Smart Machines


An automated future

From their first installation in a General Motors factory in New Jersey in 1962 industrial robots have evolved from simple mechanical limbs into the front-end of connected intelligent systems that integrate data about consumers’ preferences with materials handling and component management software. Not only does smart manufacturing require fewer workers, it can deliver tailor-made products at the price of formerly mass-produced goods. 

More recently home assistants—notably Google’s Home and Amazon’s Echo—are beginning to combine speech recognition with services such as internet search, food delivery, taxis, and online retail. Along with smart home systems that manage heating, lighting, and security, these technologies have already moved beyond the expensive-novelty phase and are becoming normal labour-saving conveniences.

But the convenience and potential economic benefits do not hide a persistent anxiety about what the transformation in labour-saving technology means—for labour. What are the challenges and opportunities of this new world? Will robots and smart machines cause mass unemployment and growing inequality? Will their inventors and the owners of their intellectual property become a global aristocracy presiding over millions of new helots? Or will robots and smart machines liberate mankind from drudgery in the home and dangers in the workplace? Will they become our servants, our teachers and our companions? Will they allow us to live like wealthy Renaissance men and women?


The Roundtable

The roundtable will begin with three 15-minute talks. The first by Hans Peter Brondmo, a Norwegian native who leads one of the X’s robotics projects. X describes itself as a ‘“factory...with the mission to invent and launch “moonshot” technologies that we hope could, someday, make the world a radically better place’.  The second talk will be given by Edward Jones-Imhotep, Associate Professor, History of Technology at York University, Toronto, where he focuses on the intertwined cultural histories of reliable humans and trustworthy machines. The third will be given by Prof. Eric Bartelsman, General Director at the Vrije Universiteit and Tinbergen Institute where he is an economist focusing on productivity growth.

Places at this event are limited. If you would like to attend then please contact: tim.conway@globaldigitalfoundation.org

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Copy of Digital Frontrunner Roundtable IV
Apr
27
12:45 PM12:45

Copy of Digital Frontrunner Roundtable IV

WHAT ARE THE SKILLS AND WHERE ARE THE JOBS OF TOMORROW? A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY / MULTI-STAKEHOLDER HALF-DAY CONVERSATION


Revolution!

Like teenagers, young technologies live in a world of experiment, trial and error, and unreliability. But at some point, as they mature, technologies, like young adults, will have a coming-of-age moment. They become reliable and capable, and are embraced as such by the wider world. The problems they were created to solve disappear and cease even to be interesting. Who, at least in the developed world, worries about the once daunting problems solved by plumbing, and the electric light? Digital innovation is having its coming-of-age moment. Its capacity to apply something approaching human-level intelligence to an increasing number of complex tasks heralds a profound change to the world of work. Its ability to support almost any kind of communication, transaction, and collaboration—and over any distance—is changing the whole meaning of what it is to be a corporate organisation. How do we want to live in this new world? Can we predict the jobs of the future and the skills they will need? Should we try to preserve or reinstate the traditional model of the firm, the firm’s relationships with its employees, and the prospect of long-term stable employment? Or should we accept change as inevitable and begin the work of imagining how as our civilisation enters a new era it will remain, above all, civilised?
 


The Roundtable

The roundtable will begin with three 15-minute talks. The first by Tim Hwang, Counsel at Google's Policy unit in Mountain View and responsible for coordinating the company's global policy work surrounding artificial intelligence and virtual reality; Prof. Heikki Hiilamo, a doctor of political science and philosophy at the University of Helsinki, and the third by Thomas Søby, Chief Economist in the President’s Department of the Danish Metalworkers Union.

This event is by invitation only. If you are interested in participating then please contact: paul.macdonnell@globaldigitalfoundation.org

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Digital Frontrunner Roundtable III
Apr
20
12:45 PM12:45

Digital Frontrunner Roundtable III

WHAT ARE THE SKILLS AND WHERE ARE THE JOBS OF TOMORROW? A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY / MULTI-STAKEHOLDER HALF-DAY CONVERSATION


Revolution!

Like teenagers, young technologies live in a world of experiment, trial and error, and unreliability. But at some point, as they mature, technologies, like young adults, will have a coming-of-age moment. They become reliable and capable, and are embraced as such by the wider world. The problems they were created to solve disappear and cease even to be interesting. Who, at least in the developed world, worries about the once daunting problems solved by plumbing, and the electric light? Digital innovation is having its coming-of-age moment. Its capacity to apply something approaching human-level intelligence to an increasing number of complex tasks heralds a profound change to the world of work. Its ability to support almost any kind of communication, transaction, and collaboration—and over any distance—is changing the whole meaning of what it is to be a corporate organisation. How do we want to live in this new world? Can we predict the jobs of the future and the skills they will need? Should we try to preserve or reinstate the traditional model of the firm, the firm’s relationships with its employees, and the prospect of long-term stable employment? Or should we accept change as inevitable and begin the work of imagining how as our civilisation enters a new era it will remain, above all, civilised?
 


The Roundtable

The roundtable will begin with three 15-minute talks. The first by Tim Hwang, Counsel at Google's Policy unit in Mountain View and responsible for coordinating the company's global policy work surrounding artificial intelligence and virtual reality; the second by Dr. Ville-Veikko Pulkka, of the University of Helsinki who will discuss Finland's basic income experiment in the context of the digital economy, and the third by Dr. Chinchih Chen, Postdoctoral Researcher of the Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment at the Oxford Martin School whose most recent publication (with Carl Benedikt Frey and Thor Berger) is "Drivers of Disruption? Estimating the Uber Effect".

This event is by invitation only. If you are interested in participating then please contact: paul.macdonnell@globaldigitalfoundation.org

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Digital Frontrunner Roundtable II
Feb
23
3:00 AM03:00

Digital Frontrunner Roundtable II

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND MACHINE LEARNING: A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY / MULTI-STAKEHOLDER HALF-DAY CONVERSATION


The promise of AI and Machine Learning

Software and machines that can see and distinguish objects, people, and animals, understand and translate speech, read scientific literature, and solve complex problems, are poised to enter our lives. Whether running software or animating robots Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning promise radical change in sectors such as medicine, education, elderly care, transport and manufacturing. Like previous revolutions—printing, electricity, the combustion engine, transistors, computers and the internet—AI and Machine Learning will augment and disrupt the world of work. They will turbocharge some jobs and replace others. They will also create new industries that call for workers with skills that do not yet exist. Policymakers must start thinking now about how to realise the potential for AI and Machine Learning to increase economic productivity and to improve the lives of millions—especially people in the developing world. What should they do to encourage the adoption of these technologies? And can they legitimately do so without also responding to their potential negative impact? The downside for some—who may lose their livelihood. And the dark side—that AI and Machine Learning could enable discrimination or economic exclusion?


The Roundtable

The roundtable will begin with three 15-minute talks. The first by Greg Corrado, Principal Scientist and Director of Augmented Intelligence Research at Google, the second by a leading economist or policymaker, and the third by a leading specialist in ethics and technology. Following this, all participants will take part in a moderated discussion.

This event is by invitation only. If you are interested in participating then please contact: paul.macdonnell@globaldigitalfoundation.org

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Digital-Frontrunner Roundtable I
Feb
20
12:30 PM12:30

Digital-Frontrunner Roundtable I

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: A multi-disciplinary / multi-stakeholder half-day conversation


Copenhagen, Denmark, Monday, February 20, 2017, 1230-1600

Whether running software or animating robots Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning promise radical change in sectors such as medicine, education, elderly care, transport and manufacturing. Like previous revolutions—printing, electricity, the combustion engine, transistors, computers and the internet—AI and Machine Learning will augment and disrupt the world of work. They will turbocharge some jobs and replace others. They will also create new industries that call for workers with skills that do not yet exist. Policymakers must start thinking now about how to realise the potential for AI and Machine Learning to increase economic productivity and to improve the lives of millions—especially people in the developing world. What should they do to encourage the adoption of these technologies? And can they legitimately do so without also responding to their potential negative impact? The downside for some—who may lose their livelihood. And the dark side—that AI and Machine Learning could enable discrimination or economic exclusion?


The Roundtable

The roundtable will begin with three 15-minute talks. The first by Greg Corrado, Principal Scientist and Director of Augmented Intelligence Research at Google, the second by Prof. Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford and Director of Research and Senior Research Fellow of the Oxford Internet Institute, on the ethical questions raised by this technology, and the third by Prof. Philipp Schröder, of the Department of Economics and Business Economics and the Tuborg Research Centre for Globalisation and Firms at Aarhus University. Following this, all participants will take part in a moderated discussion.

If you are interested in attending this event then please contact: paul.macdonnell@globaldigitalfoundation.org

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Global Digital Foundation Asia-Pacific Launch
Feb
2
5:00 PM17:00

Global Digital Foundation Asia-Pacific Launch

Global Digital Foundation Asia-Pacific Launch: Roundtable : Whither Government and Digital?


Roundtable discussion: Whither Government and Digital?

Digital technology presents both opportunities and responsibilities to government. For example  the release of non-sensitive public sector data to the public presents opportunities to catalyse inventive solutions to common challenges like traffic congestion or poor health amongst low-income families. Equally, the explosion of the data economy imposes responsibilities upon government to ensure that legislation strikes a balance between citizens’ natural desire for privacy with the potential for digital technology to offer better services and products.

Digital services also enable much greater transparency of government activities, imposing political accountability and bureaucratic responsibility – and new arguments over where the line should be drawn.

Join the Global Digital Foundation in Canberra, Australia for our launch and roundtable discussion Whither Government and Digital? where we will examine the role of government in both implementing, fostering and regulating digital innovation.


The Roundtable

The discussion will be moderated by Ann Steward, PSM, former Australian Government CIO, with Kevin Noonan (Ovum) acting as rapporteur.  Participants include Edwin Lau, Head of Public Sector Reform at the OECD, Jane Treadwell, Practice Manager for ICT—Digital Platforms and Solutions, World Bank, Andrea Di Maio  Managing Vice President, Gartner, Martha Dorris, former senior executive in the US GSA, Paul Waller, former senior executive in the UK Cabinet Office, Pia Waugh, the well-known open government / open data advocate, R Chandrashekhar, President of NASSCOM, India and former Chairman of the Indian Telecom Commission, and Secretary, Department of Telecommunication, Ivo Ivanovski  Head of Regulatory Affairs, Telekom Austria and former Minister of Information Society and Administration, Republic of Macedonia, and Colin MacDonald, NZ Government CIO. We have also invited Toshi Zamma, Ministry of Finance, Japan, Professor Makoto Yokozawa, Kyoto University, and Cheow Hoe Chan, GCIO and Deputy CEO, GTech, Singapore among others, some of whom will be joining by video link.

Places at this event are limited. If you would like to attend then please contact: tim.conway@globaldigitalfoundation.org

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Competition Policy in an Age of Open Source Platforms—a breakfast discussion
Nov
23
8:00 AM08:00

Competition Policy in an Age of Open Source Platforms—a breakfast discussion

  • Cercle Royal Gaulois Artistique & Littéraire Brussels (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Competition Policy in an Age of Open Source Platforms


Open source and modular platforms have transformed the software industry. The freedom to modify open source software rests in uneasy tension with the goals both of consumers and developers. Consumers demand products that are reliable and consistent in different environments and over time, and software / app developers are searching for economies of scale to compete with products developed for well-known proprietary platforms.
 
Development by third-party providers of non-compliant components, and experimentation with the operating system can work against the goals of consumers and developers by fragmenting the platform. This can reduce its economic benefits for end users and developers and force developers to spend resources customizing their code for each variant.  
 
The classic response to these challenges are a combination of testing to ensure compatibility and the use of agreed systems of governance—acceptance of which is required before admittance to a development environment is allowed.  The history of the three leading open source operating systems (Unix, Symbian, and Linux) reflects this approach.
 
The question therefore is not whether some constraints should apply, but rather:
 
1.      How restrictive should these constraints be?

2.      When should they attract the attention of competition regulators?


Professor Christopher Yoo

Professor Yoo: Christopher Yoo is one of America’s leading authorities on law and technology. His research focuses on how the principles of network engineering and the economics of imperfect competition can provide insights into the regulation of electronic communications. He has been a leading voice in the “network neutrality” debate that has dominated Internet policy over the past several years. He is also pursuing research on copyright theory as well as the history of presidential power. He is the author of The Dynamic Internet: How Technology, Users, and Businesses Are Transforming the Network (AEI Press, 2012), Networks in Telecommunications: Economics and Law (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009) (with Daniel F. Spulber) and The Unitary Executive: Presidential Power from Washington to Bush (Yale Univ. Press, 2008) (with Steven G.  Calabresi). Yoo testifies frequently before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission.

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