A new international research project will harness artificial intelligence (AI) and big data tools to allow European societies to capitalise on them for the operation of democratic governance and civic life. The Knowledge Technologies for Democracy (KT4D) project takes a different approach to AI and big data by framing them as ‘Knowledge Technologies’ and an opportunity to improve civic participation in democratic governance. Some criticisms exist in relation to AI and other intelligent systems in relation to their impact on society and culture. The approach being taken by this team looks to invert that narrative and demonstrate how they can be used to improve civic participation in democratic governance.
KT4D is led by the Trinity Long Room Hub for Digital Humanities at Trinity College Dublin and has a consortium of 12 partner organisations with extensive expertise in technology, communication, and research including 4 research-performing organisations, 4 SMEs, and 4 non-governmental organisations.
Led by Professor Jennifer Edmond, Associate Professor of Digital Humanities and Culture at Trinity College Dublin and Research Collaborator at the ADAPT Centre, the KT4D project aims to investigate how democracy and civic participation can be better facilitated in the face of rapidly changing knowledge technologies. It will enable a broad range of people across society to capitalise on the many benefits these technologies can bring in terms of community empowerment, social integration, individual agency, and improved trust in both institutions and technological instruments while identifying and mitigating potential ethical, legal and cultural risks.
The ultimate goal of the project is to foster civic participation in democracy by capitalising on the benefits of developments in AI and big data technologies. KT4D will develop and validate tools, guidelines and a Digital Democracy Lab Demonstrators platform with results being validated across three user needs scenarios in four different European cities. The ADAPT Centre in Trinity will be at the forefront of running the Dublin based Use Case.
Jennifer Edmond, KT4D Project Coordinator, said: “Coming from a background in digital humanities, I know how important culture is to the way we use technology. Because of the unique constellation of researchers from the humanities and social sciences, plus companies and civil society organisations, KT4D will be in a unique position to harness this awareness in order to make a substantial contribution to the development of democracy in the digital age.”
With a focus on harnessing the benefits of knowledge technologies for democracy, KT4D is poised to make a significant impact on the development of democratic governance in the digital age.
More information on the KT4D programme and its activities is available on the website (www.kt4democracy.eu).