Friday 27 December 2019

The digital era, time for debate

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The digital era is the era of big data, algorithms and artificial intelligence. Of work, justice and relationships, as well as the organisation of the city, health and consumption. It has an impact on every industry, every sector alike. 

Despite the scope of the announced transformations and of these new divides, the current public debate is only slowly starting to respond to these huge challenges. All too often, digital technology is seen as a fragmented object, and is only approached from the scientific or technological perspective. 

We need to ramp up the public debate. How? With an informed, critical perspective, by keeping our distance, encouraging people to think about the challenges of the digital world in all their diversity, both on the individual and collective level. “In which digital society do we want to live?”. That is the question that we should focus on as part of the digital transition to tap into its maximum potential.

By asking ten researchers from different backgrounds to share their opinions on this topic, the Friday Group hopes to contribute to the public debate. These men and women, who are philosophers, lawyers and engineers, think about the digital society, questioning its mechanisms in areas that are as diverse as the economy, education, security, law or politics. Their interpretation, which is often out of step or goes against the current, forces us to think and confront the multiple challenges of our digital society, from different angles and in various different respects.

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