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From politics to ethics: Transformations in EU policies on digital technology

Vanja Carlsson and Malin Rönnblom

Technology in Society, 2022, vol. 71, issue C

Abstract: Artificial intelligence (AI) and digitalisation have become an integral part of public governance. While digital technology is expected to enhance neutrality and accuracy in decision-making, it raises concerns about the status of public values and democratic principles. Guided by the theoretical concepts of input, throughput and output democracy, this article analyses how democratic principles have been interpreted and defended in EU policy formulations relating to digital technology over the last decade. The emergence of AI policy has changed the conditions for democratic input and throughput legitimacy, which is an expression of a shift in power and influence between public and private sectors. Democratic input values in AI production are promoted by ethical guidelines directed towards the industry, while democratic throughput, e.g., accountability and transparency, receive less attention in EU AI policy. This indicates future political implications for the ability of citizens to influence technological change and pass judgement on accountable actors.

Keywords: AI policy; AI ethics; European union; Public sector; Democracy; The political (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2022.102145

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