Artificial Intelligence: Ethics and Regulations in the European Union

Written by: Seda Yılmaz, Mehmet Turgut, Müfit Yılmaz Gökmen, Begüm Yurttaş, Sibel Pekin, Renjani Puspo Sari, Luciano Morganti, Heritiana Ranaivoson

Artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of intelligent robots was a big hit in many movies back in the 90s. Now it is leaving the science fiction shelf and is quickly taking over many aspects of our lives. From fields like the financial sector, healthcare, education, transport, insurances, to specific applications like credit card transactions, Google translate, GPS, spam filters and Siri in iPhones, AI, or applications of it, is today pretty much everywhere even if we are not aware we are using it (or being used by it). AI is also seen as a big leap and a very profitable economic sector, so it receives more and more the attention of the public at large, the private and academic entities and governments and politics.

This rapid societal and economic uptake of AI comes with new and unforeseen challenges: what are the short and long-term effects on our society? How will AI change the dynamics of human life? How to regulate the imminent changes brought by a sector in dynamic transition and expansion? What happens and who pays the consequences if AI becomes malicious or if it simply leads to errors and mistakes?

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Take part in Stakeholder Consultation!

MediaRoad has launched Stakeholder Consultation to collect ideas and views from the media sector stakeholders on the future European Research & Innovation Agenda for media sector (with a focus on audio-visual and radio). The collected input will serve as a basis for the development of a common vision for media innovation in Europe that will be included in the first MediaRoad Vision Document.

Go to survey

Are you part of the media industry and in particular of the audio-visual or radio sector?
Are you concerned about its developments and do you want to ensure a bright and innovative future for the sector?

Share your ideas and views on how the future European Research & Innovation Agenda for media should look like and contribute to the creation of a joint vision for media innovation!

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Current Digital Single Market challenges for the Radio sector

Written by Vincent Sneed

The radio environment is neither audiovisual, nor music-only: it is an environment where sound-only usage / non-retail prevails. Most of the listening is still done by reception of broadcast content. As this mode of transmission enables one-to-many access and can influence listeners, national governments grant licences to radios allowing them to broadcast. However, radios have to be present on a multitude of platforms to maintain their audience.

The internet as we know it now was born in 1995… when radio was already everywhere, mobile, simple-to-use, interactive, cost-efficient and complimentary. 80% of the EU population on average listens to radio for at least 2 or 3 hours per day, as shown by national audience measurement (as regularly shown by data collected with AER national Members). For commercial radio, these features are all based on a very efficient model: terrestrial broadcasting of free-to-air programmes, funded (almost) 100% by advertising.

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Fake news affects all of us – the debate should reflect all voices

Written by Noel Curran, this opinion piece originally appeared on Euractive on 6 December 2017.

We have all had our fill of references to ‘fake news’ – to the point that we are no longer sure what it means. However, that should not blind us to the fact that significant issues are at stake in the digital world.

Regulators, media organisations, politicians, journalists and the public have allowed the digital revolution, with all its opportunities, to turn into ‘digital dominance’ by a handful of large internet players. This has allowed for a space where fake news can freely flourish.

News media organisations are now spending a lot of money, at a difficult time, fact-checking information on platforms that dwarf them in scale, income and resources. Does the belated conversion of these platforms into third party fact- checking tools go far enough given the extraordinary incomes they generate?

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Can the European Union become a digital giant?

Opinion piece by Prof. Dr. Karen Donders & Prof. Pieter Ballon

In September, EU Member States gathered in Tallinn to discuss the future of the European Union as an economic actor in the digital economy. Government leaders discussed the main issues causing Europe to lag behind and explored avenues for change. It has indeed become clear that the policy recipes chosen in 2015 to achieve the European Digital Single Market (DSM) have not fully realized their potential to date.

Television advertising, Smart Cities, better and more efficient broadband networks, data protection and data trading, copyright, research, and innovation, amongst other important issues, were the subject of the talks in Tallinn. Not surprisingly, few concrete measures were put on the table. The pressure on Europe is big as research shows that the US, China and a number of Asian countries are much better positioned than the European Union in the digital economy.

 

OBSERVED PROBLEMS AND IDENTIFIED SOLUTIONS ARE THE SAME SINCE THE 1990s

 

European policy in the field of the digital economy takes a real start with the 1994 Bangemann report, named after former European Commissioner Martin Bangemann. The report stated that Europe must catch-up in the globalized information society. In particular, it reported that there was a need for a free

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Funding opportunities to drive future innovative projects for media

In the end of October, the European Commission has published the new Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020 on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The document provides information on future Commission priorities for research and innovation in the media sector.

The Work Programme includes several calls for proposals of interest for media organizations, especially within the framework of the Big Data and 5G PPPs, as well as in the Next Generation Internet (NGI) section. Over the course of the next two years, media organizations will have an opportunity to develop proposals on big data applications, interactive technologies, artificial intelligence, and hyper-connected media systems in reply to the ICT calls (list of preselected proposals available in the table below).

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Horizon 2020: The EC to boost research funding for ICT

The European Commission will invest 30€ billion in research and innovation for the next three years in order to boost the impact of the Horizon 2020 (H2020) programme. The funds will go more towards market-creating innovations with specific focus on topics such as migration, cyber security, climate, clean energy and digital technologies.

Open Europe, open programme, new type of funding for innovation: this is how Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation described the recently published 2018-2020 work programme for Horizon 2020 and the EU’s plans for the future of innovation funding.

WHAT’S NEW FOR THE MEDIA SECTOR?

Over the next three years, roughly 2.7 billion € [1] will be invested in information and communication technologies (ICT). While the media sector is included within this category, access to H2020 funding for media organisation is still limited compared to other industries.

There are nevertheless some positive developments, notably the inclusion of media as one of the vertical industries in the 5G PPP on “Advanced 5G Network Infrastructure”, which will be geared towards setting up fixed, mobile and satellite networks, together with computing and storage resources, into a unified, programmable and universally available infrastructure.

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MediaRoad project launched

The EBU has hosted the MediaRoad Project Launch, in collaboration with the VRT SandBox Creative Circle VI event. This represents the first step on a journey which aims to reawaken a ‘start-up mentality’ in the media sector and bridge the gap between technological innovation and the creative and media sector.

The event gave participants a chance to learn about the MediaRoad project, which will be coordinated by the EBU, and the VRT Sandbox, which matches startups to the public broadcaster VRT for a short-term collaboration on projects geared towards innovation and market deployment.

The EBU’s new Director General Noel Curran opened the event by reflecting on the increasingly important role of public service media as a standard bearer for reliable news and in promoting common values. He highlighted the MediaRoad project as an important step along this path as it enhances cross-sectorial collaboration, allowing PSM to work hand-in-hand with commercial players, tech startups, academia and content producers.

Curran said: “In a rapidly changing world of digital transformation and increased media consumption, the role of public broadcasters is more important than ever. By embracing innovation and committing to producing quality content and news, public service media can be the leaders of a new media ecosystem.”

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MediaRoad Information Session

During the International Broadcasting Conference (IBC) held in Amsterdam in September 2017, the MediaRoad team organized an information session at the EBU booth. Being a world-wide leading media event, IBC attracts a broad audience and experts engaged in the creation and delivery of electronic media.
IBC visitors were cordially invited to attend a presentation of the MediaRoad project and its goals.

During the presentations and Q&A session, the attendees were able to find out more about the project and how to get involved in the MediaRoad network. They also learned more about the concept behind the VRT Sandbox and on how MediaRoad will translate this approach into a replicable model, enabling other European media organizations to launch their own Sandboxes.

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