Studies and Options Briefs

 
181 results
 
What if we were to travel on levitating trains?04-2018
Reference
Summary

Magnetic levitation-based transport might be about to enter our lives, providing for faster, safer and more energy-efficient journeys. As it will enable longer distances to be covered more rapidly and cleanly, could it affect where we choose to live?

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At a glance : What if we were to travel on levitating trains?
Should we fear artificial intelligence?03-2018
Reference
Author

EPRS, DG; Peter J. Bentley, University College London Miles Brundage, University of Oxford Olle Häggström, Chalmers University Thomas Metzinger, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz With a foreword by María Teresa Giménez Barbat, MEP and an introduction by Philip Boucher, Scientific Foresight Unit (STOA)

Summary

For better or worse, artificial intelligence (AI) is predicted to have a huge impact on the future of humanity. As new promises and concerns reach increasingly mainstream audiences, the debate is starting to capture the public imagination. In this publication, we present four opinion pieces, each responding to the question should we fear AI? The four authors come from different disciplinary backgrounds and present diverging perspectives on whether we should fear the future of AI, and how we should proceed with its development.

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In-Depth Analysis : Should we fear artificial intelligence?
Overcoming innovation gaps in the EU-13 Member States03-2018
Reference
Author

EPRS, DG

Summary

The purpose of this Options Brief is to provide the Members of the European Parliament with policy options regarding the effective realisation of research and innovation potential in the EU, specifically through the stronger integration of the EU-13 countries within the European Research Area (ERA) and their improved future performance in Horizon 2020 (H2020) and the ninth framework programme (FP9).

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Study : Overcoming innovation gaps in the EU-13 Member States
Annex 1: BRIEFING - Overcoming innovation gaps in the EU-13 Member States
What if all technologies were inherently social?03-2018
Reference
Summary

How technology has shaped society and how future technologies might affect it in the years to come are subjects for frequent debate. It can be tempting in this context to think of technologies as neutral 'things' that can be used for good or bad depending on the user's intentions and skills. But what if technologies were social objects that reflected and reinforced human activities or even political values? In fact, while mechanisms, effects and implications remain open to debate, experts on the relationship between technology and society broadly agree that technologies are indeed social in this way. By scripting, restricting and enabling different human behaviours, technologies can influence our lives in much the same way that policy programmes do. A number of key ideas have emerged from this field over the last five decades, with various implications for European policy-making.

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At a glance : What if all technologies were inherently social?
New ways of financing transport infrastructure projects in Europe03-2018
Reference
Author

EPRS, DG;

Summary

This study assesses a range of mechanisms to finance transport infrastructure projects in cross-border regions, and analyses the strategic role that European Groupings of Territorial Cohesion (EGTC) could play in the planning and implementation of cross-border investments. Special attention is given to often neglected small-scale projects, whose investment is up to €1 million. Building on an in-depth literature review, and supported by interviews with various regional cooperation structures and an experts’ workshop, the study analyses the current situation regarding the availability of financing tools for new technologies that enhance transport infrastructure in cross-border regions. It also outlines sources of financial support that could meet investment needs and assesses technological challenges and trends in the field of Intelligent Transport Systems, with a focus on regional interoperability. The study ends with suggestions of policy options to facilitate and accelerate cross border transport infrastructure projects.

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Study : New ways of financing transport infrastructure projects in Europe
Annex 1: BRIEFING_New ways of financing transport infrastructure projects in Europe
The impact of new technologies on the labour market and the social economy03-2018
Reference
Author

EPRS, DG

Summary

This STOA study investigates the potential employment effects of new information and communication technologies, by examining the relationship between innovation, new technologies, employment and inequality. It reviews the existing literature and experiences of previous technological revolutions, and argues that the race between job creation through new products, and job destruction from process innovation, has been won in the past by the job-creating effects of innovation. It concludes that there is an uneven distribution in the costs of digitalisation, because of the skills-biased nature of technological change - so the challenge of the future lies in coping with rising inequality from technological change. The study also proposes a set of policy options for dealing with the employment effects of digitalisation.

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Study : The impact of new technologies on the labour market and the social economy
Annex 1: The impact of new technologies on the labour market and the social economy
Prospects for e-democracy in Europe02-2018
Reference
Author

EPRS, DG

Summary

Digital tools could create stronger connections between European citizens and the EU decision-making process and, by doing so, might contribute to reducing the EU democratic deficit. This report investigates what lessons can be drawn from local, national and European experiences of the use of digital tools for the functioning of EU decision-making procedures and institutions. For that purpose, a review of current literature on e-democracy and the European public sphere has been carried out; 22 local, national and EU experiences with existing digital tools have been investigated and evaluated; and an analysis has been made of the suitability of the most promising digital tools for implementation and use at EU level. The most important factors for successful e-participation identified in the report are: a close and clear link between e-participation processes and a concrete formal decision-making process; the participatory process and the contribution of its outputs to the overall decision-making process have to be clear to participants from the start; feedback to the participants about what has been done with their contributions is an indispensable feature of the process; a participative process should not be limited to one event but should be imbedded in an institutional 'culture of participation'; e-participation must be accompanied by an effective mobilisation and engagement strategy, involving communication instruments tailored for different target groups.

Files
Study : Prospects for e-democracy in Europe
Annex 1: Prospects for e-democracy in Europe_Part I_Literature review
Annex 2: Prospects for e-democracy in Europe_Part II_Case Studies
Annex 3: Prospects for e-democracy in Europe_Part III_Policy options
Annex 4: Prospects for e-democracy in Europe_Part IV_BRIEFING
What if all our meat were grown in a lab?01-2018
Reference
Summary

Laboratory meat is grown from a small number of cells taken from a live animal and placed in a growth medium in a bioreactor where they proliferate independently. If meat cultured in this way became widely available, it could significantly alleviate the environmental problems currently caused by livestock production - such as greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen pollution of waterways - without requiring humans to alter their consumption patterns. This publication provides an overview of the potential impacts of laboratory meat on environment, public health and farming, and makes suggestions for anticipatory policy-making in this area.

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At a glance : What if all our meat were grown in a lab?
Assistive technologies for people with disabilities01-2018
Reference
Summary

By analysing first the regulatory, health and demographic aspects of assistive technologies, this report prepares the groundwork for a scientific foresight study on the subject. The regulatory analysis focuses on four countries that have successfully adopted the UNCRPD but that have experienced varying levels of success in its implementation. The analysis of disabilities focuses upon three common types of disability: deafness and hearing impairments, blindness and visual impairments and autism spectrum disorders. It also considers the demographic context in terms of an ageing population, which could be a key driver for increasing demand for assistive technologies in the future.

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In-Depth Analysis : Assistive technologies for people with disabilities
Annex 1: Part I_Assistive technologies for people with disabilities _Regulatory, health and demographic aspects
Annex 2: Part II_Assistive technologies for people with disabilities_Current and emerging technologies
Annex 3: Part III_Assistive technologies for people with disabilities_Perspectives, needs and opportunities
Annex 4: Part IV_Assistive technologies for people with disabilities_Legal and socio-ethical perspectives
Achieving a sovereign and trustworthy ICT industry in the EU12-2017
Reference
Author

EPRS, DG

Summary

This study attempts to identify and assess policy options for the EU to achieve cyber-resilience, and to develop capabilities, and industrial and technological resources for a trustworthy EU cyberspace, with a view also to promoting core values, such as online privacy protection. The findings could form the basis for an assessment of alternative measures to improve the resilience of the European ICT industry and the EU's strategic decision-making capacity, and enhance the resilience of critical information technology networks. The study further reviews the current state of reciprocity between search engine services and individual customers. The ultimate aim of this study is to develop concrete policy options to be considered by EU institutions and Member States – and potentially to be used as background by EP committees for their legislative and own-initiative reports.

Files
Study : Achieving a sovereign and trustworthy ICT industry in the EU
Annex 1: Achieving a sovereign and trustworthy ICT industry in the EU - BRIEFING
 
 
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