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AI vs. Democracy: Monsters, Monopolies, and Questions of Power


Friday, 01 Mar 2024

14:30 - 16:00Heimatsaal

“Democracy has slept, while surveillance capitalists amassed unprecedented concentrations of knowledge and power.” - Shoshana Zuboff

Toxic technologies today are often not “safe for work”; the EU AI Act describes many high-risk applications - particularly endangered: democratic coexistence. This conversation sheds light on power relations between platform economies, developments in artificial intelligence, and their use by actors hostile to democracy. It's about risks, but also about potentials that democratic institutions overlook.

Julia Ebner, a renowned extremism researcher, shares her experiences from infiltrating extremist groups and how radicalization increasingly affects the societal mainstream and the role digital platforms play in this. Tabea Glindemann from the Feminist Hacker Collective Heart of Code and AI consultant, and Jürgen Geuter, known as "tante" and "Germany's most precise AI critic", enrich the panel with perspectives on the AI hype that challenge the prevailing narratives and the inevitable future proclaimed by AI companies. Irina Nalis, a psychologist and researcher in Digital Humanism, moderates the discussion on the impact of AI on social structures and democratic participation.

What is needed to make AI safe for democracy? What socially and democratically compatible effects could the EU AI Act also trigger globally? How can the influence of AI-driven platforms on opinion formation and radicalization tendencies be regulated and instead be productively used for inclusive democracy?

This event is part of "New Perspectives for Action" A project by Re-Imagine Europe, a collaboration between Paradiso and Sonic Acts (NL), Elevate Festival (AT), A4 (SK), INA GRM (FR), Borealis (NO), KONTEJNER (HR), RUPERT (LT), Semibreve (PT), Parco d'Arte Vivente (IT), Disruption Network Lab (DE), BEK (NO), Kontrapunkt (MK) and Radio Web MACBA (ES). Co-funded by the European Union.