(e) Democracy

Publisher: European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies, European Commission

Key decisions on the regulation of AI development and application should be the result of democratic debate and public engagement. A spirit of global cooperation and public dialogue on the issue will ensure that they are taken in an inclusive, informed, and farsighted manner. The right to receive education or access information on new technologies and their ethical implications will facilitate that everyone understands risks and opportunities and is empowered to participate in decisional processes that crucially shape our future. The principles of human dignity and autonomy centrally involve the human right to self determination through the means of democracy. Of key importance to our democratic political systems are value pluralism, diversity and accommodation of a variety of conceptions of the good life of citizens. They must not be jeopardised, subverted or equalised by new technologies that inhibit or influence political decision making and infringe on the freedom of expression and the right to receive and impart information without interference. Digital technologies should rather be used to harness collective intelligence and support and improve the civic processes on which our democratic societies depend.