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Technological and Digital Risk: Research Issues

Edited By Gevisa La Rocca and Juan Martínez Torvisco

What are the borders of risk? How is the perception of risk related to new technologies and digital changing? This book discusses these topics, moving from theories to research data, looking for concrete answers now, or taking a picture of reality. The volume is divided into three main sections: Exploring the Edges of Risk, according to sociological, psychological and artificial intelligence perspective; Technological and Digital Risks, exploring social media, cyberbullying, hate speech, social bots on digital platforms; Risk in the Cities, working with risk and deviance, risk communication, environmental and nuclear risks. Inside, research data from Europe, USA and Mexico are discussed.

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Chapter Four The Human-Centered AI and the EC Policies: Risks & Chances (Antonella Napoli)

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Antonella Napoli

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a central theme in the contemporary debate. The availability of a large amount of data and the possibility of processing it thanks to the use of powerful computing capabilities is in fact favoring the implementation of patterns and classification structures that accelerate the progress of technological development linked to all systems under the great semantic hat of AI – from human-machine interface systems, to machine learning, machine reasoning, and robotics (see Tegmark 2017).

The huge development already achieved by artificial intelligence systems and the expectations for future developments contribute to feeding narratives about opportunities, but above all the risks linked to the human-technology relationship. In particular, many fears refer to the level of autonomy that these technologies can achieve: these fears often find expression in media representations as well as in prefiguration of imaginery products, from literature to fiction to art.

In fact, less investigated than the imaginery products, the public discourse also contributes in generating representations of AI that highlight the ambiguous relationship between human and technology, the fears related to the autonomy’s issue despite the unquestionable opportunities offered by the AI to overcome the challenges of the present time. The public discourse ultimately questions the degree of human awareness and freedom or whether AI has a conscience and is able to decide independently.

Starting from a classic work like Langdon Winner’s (1978) and from his still current reflections on the relationship between power and autonomy...

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