techUPDATE 21/03/12: Many thanks to everybody who sent in questions and followed the debate online. We discussed everything from self-ironing shirts, to cars that drive themselves, to governments and non-state actors abusing technology to infringe the privacy of individuals. The full video will be posted on Debating Europe tomorrow.

Debating Europe, along with our partner think-tank Friends of Europe, are hosting a live event today at 13h00 CET looking at some of the ways technology will affect Europe in 2050. Taking part in the debate will be Professor Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Advisor to the European Commission President, and Dan Reed, Corporate Vice President of the Technology Group at Microsoft Research. They will be answering questions sent into them on Debating Europe.

You can watch the debate LIVE today between 13h00 and 14h00 CET in the video above.

If you’re on Twitter, then we’d encourage you to use the hashtag below. We’ll be looking out for your tweets and comments.


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  1. avatar
    Andy Price

    Technology needs to be created to empower the lowest technically-minded common denominator. As much as I loath Apple (for their restrictions/ELUA’s, etc), their products are very very easy to use and thus empower people who are not technically minded. Technologies need to follow Apple’s lead in this and make technology simple to use and simple to learn to use.

    “Anne Glover’s response was that scientists need to be more involved with policy-making process. More scientist politicians.”

    I agree. Tech scientists often don’t have the social skills required to envisage whether what they are creating technically is functionally good or bad for society. (It could be argued (at a stretch) that politicians are a type of social-scientists.)

    Policy makers [politicians] often come from the view (via lobbying) of what business wants [to make money] rather than what society actually needs [empowerment towards a more enriched life].

    I see much new proposed legislation that are debated and negotiated between government and business first of all. Seemingly only as a fig-leaf do social organisations get involved (and often they’re only involved on the periphery of the main negotiations). This is wrongheaded.

    Science and scientists are used to working in closed environments; controlled environments.

    Policy and regulation needs to set the boundaries of this environment. A closed/controlled environment should be imposed on business and organisations as well.

    Policy and regulation needs to be flexible, but not so flexible that science is a wild west free-for-all.

    Policy and regulation need to be tailored more specifically into smaller packets. Currently, regulations are packaged and often bad regulations are piggy-backed on good regulations within the package of regulations.

    For instance, ACTA has some good regulations in it imv, it also has some bad regulation imv. ACTA is a package of regulations and is a take it or leave it package. Imv, the individual regulations contained within ACTA should be voted upon – it should not be all or nothing.
    Business should serve society, not lead it by the nose, but that’s a downside policy has allowed Capitalism to lead society.

    Cloud computing gives third parties control of our data and this is inherent risk in Cloud computing. The connection between a user and their data could be lost/blocked. An example: Megauploads was a Cloud computing service and users have lost access to their data stored on this Cloud service due to the whims of third parties.

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