Nieuw PEW-rapport: veel technologie-experts zien verdere gevaren voor de democratie in de nabije toekomst

De onafhankelijke Amerikaanse Denktank en onderzoeksgroep PEW bevroeg net geen 1000 tech-experts en beleidsmakers en peilde bij hen naar de invloed van technologie in de nabije toekomst op de democratie. 1op 3 zag een positieve evolutie, maar zowat de helft ziet eerder een negatieve evolutie de komende jaren. Move fast and break things? Hopelijk niet…

Een overzicht van de gevaren en kansen voor de democratie volgens de bevraagde experten:

Themes About the Digital Disruption of Democracy in the Next Decade: Concerns for Democracy’s Future

Power Imbalance: Democracy is at risk because those with power will seek to maintain it by building systems that serve them not the masses. Too few in the general public possess enough knowledge to resist this assertion of power.
EMPOWERING THE POWERFUL Corporate and government agendas generally do not serve democratic goals and outcomes. They serve the goals of those in power.
DIMINISHING THE GOVERNED Digitally-networked surveillance capitalism creates an undemocratic class system pitting the controllers against the controlled.
EXPLOITING DIGITAL ILLITERACY Citizens’ lack of digital fluency and their apathy produce an ill-informed and/or dispassionate public, weakening democracy and the fabric of society.
WAGING INFO-WARS Technology will be weaponized to target vulnerable populations and engineer elections.
Trust issues: The rise of misinformation and disinformation erodes public trust in many institutions
SOWING CONFUSION Tech-borne reality distortion is crushing the already-shaky public trust in the institutions of democracy.
WEAKENING JOURNALISM There seems to be no solution for problems caused by the rise of social media-abetted tribalism and the decline of trusted, independent journalism.
RESPONDING TOO SLOWLY The speed, scope and impact of the technologies of manipulation may be difficult to overcome as the pace of change accelerates.


Themes About the Digital Disruption of Democracy in the Next Decade: Hopes and Suggested Solutions

Innovation is inevitable: Change is beginning to happen at the level of individuals and social systems. History shows how human adaption pays off in the long run.
EVOLVING INDIVIDUALS Increased citizen awareness, digital literacy improvements and better engagement among educators will be evident in the next decade.
ADAPTING SYSTEMS Changes in the design of human systems and an improved ethos among technologists will help democracy.
ENSHRINING VALUES Deep-rooted human behaviors have always created challenges to democratic ideals. Historically, though, inspired people have shown they can overcome these darker tendencies.
Leadership and activist agitation will create change
WORKING FOR GOOD Governments, enlightened leaders and activists will help steer policy and democratic processes to produce better democratic outcomes.
Technology will be part of the solution: Some of the tech tools now undermining democracy will come to its aid and helpful innovations will be created.
ASSISTING REFORMS Pro-democracy governance solutions will be aided by the spread of technology and innovations like artificial intelligence. Those will work in favor of trusted free speech and greater citizen empowerment.


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