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As advancing technologies such as mass data collection, biometric surveillance technologies and AI continue to bring new ethical and legal issues to the fore, regulators and policymakers struggle to keep up, as best practices are still under development to safeguard our values of democracy and political integrity.
The impact these technologies may have on our societies are highly dependent on the systems we can put in place, and the extent to which we can work together to develop cybersecurity measures at national and international levels. To ensure this, it is critical to examine the current state of digital policy and cybersecurity, and consider recommendations for future policy recommendations, and understand how we can involve different sectors and communicate these concerns to the wider sphere. How can we promote good uses of democracy-threatening technologies while mitigating risks? How ought we proceed with cybersecurity and digital policy at national and international levels, and what other roles in government do we need? To help us answer these questions, we will be in conversation with Dr Tim Maurer, a senior fellow in Carnegie’s Technology and International Affairs program, who previously served in the Biden-Harris administration from 2021-2023 as senior counsellor for cybersecurity and emerging technology, and as director for technology and democracy at the White House National Security Council.

Please join us for coffee and cake and an open discussion about cybersecurity and regulating technology for democracy on the 20. December. Our special guest is Dr Tim Maurer (White House, Carnegie’s Technology and International Affairs program), who will be in conversation with Katrin Paula, Fabiola Schwarz, a research associate at the Professorship for Global Security & Technology at the TUM School of Social Science and Technology.

How should we govern emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, and better design their impact on societies around the world? Last week, American social science scholar and researcher Alondra Nelson – who also helped develop the Biden-Harris Administration’s Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights in the United States- found time to discuss these pressing issues with Urs Gasser and the audience at the TUM Think Tank.

The one-hour fireside chat highlighted topics including:

● What Dr. Nelson took away from this month’s AI Safety Summit in the UK.
● Her appointment as a member of the United Nations High-Level Advisory Body on Artificial Intelligence.
● President Biden’s recent Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence.
● The current harms and potential future impacts of AI on our lives, economies, and democratic values.
● The potential of local communities and the general public to have a role how AI-related technologies are governed.
● The potential to learn from how we’ve mishandled new technologies before.

In case you missed this very insightful talk, here are the key takeaways:

● Engaging impacted communities is as important as academic research; connecting with people hearing their thoughts, fears and ideas is key to a safe and responsible introduction of technologies like AI and to understanding how they may affect everyday life, jobs and privacy issues.
● Policies, concerning AI and other modern technology, must be evolving constructs that adapt to innovation, technology, and social priorities on a regular basis.
● Long lasting (global) communities for AI policy research and development need to be established.
● New AI institutions should be envisioned as opportunities to strengthen democracy, and not just technological organizations. Innovation and democratic values, including the preservation of our rights and opportunities, hand-in-hand, can build societal strength and engage communities at local and global levels.

We are delighted to have had the opportunity to welcome Alondra Nelson to the TUM Think Tanks Fireside Chat to hear about her insightful takes on current AI policy and governance developments.

Join U.S. public historian and author Jason Steinhauer for an open conversation on the impact of social media on history and our relationship with the past. This event is part of the TUM Think Tank's new bi-weekly series "Socially Speaking."

In today's world, where political polarization is on the rise, understanding the relationship between history and current issues is more crucial than ever. How does history influence debates on topics such as misinformation, journalism, tribalism, activism, democracy, politics, and identity in the online sphere? As we begin a new decade, this knowledge is essential for an informed citizenry.

Jason Steinhauer’s book, History, disrupted, is the first to document the significance of how history is communicated in the digital age. With examples ranging from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to sophisticated technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and algorithms, Mr. Steinhauer illustrates how historical narratives are widely disseminated and hotly debated on the social web.

Join us to explore how the internet has changed our understanding of history. From social media to algorithms, misinformation to identity politics, we'll dive into the impact of technology on our collective memory.

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