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SPRU Researchers invited to act as expert group on Artificial Intelligence and Digitalisation

Drs Frederique Bone, Tommaso Ciarli, Simone Vannuccini, and Professor Maria Savona from SPRU have advised the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission, and provided expertise to evaluate a JRC programme on the economic impact of Artificial Intelligence and Digitalisation, within the INNOVA Measure IV research project funded by the European Commission under EU’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. An evaluation report and a research agenda on the economic impact of AI were presented at the project’s final workshop in September 2020.

The INNOVA Measure IV research on innovation and enterprise growth has produced an analysis of: (i) AI global diffusion across sectors and firms, (ii) the impact of AI-related innovation on firm productivity; and (iii) the relation between green and digital innovation across EU regions. The SPRU team have been taking stock of the INNOVA Measure IV research findings, assessing their relevance for policy and proposing a long-term research agenda on AI that is relevant to tackle the European societal challenges. These included improvements in the identification and measurement of AI-related innovations and analysis of its trajectories; the societal and ethical concerns arising from the use of AI; the impacts on labour markets and on the future of work of the adoption of AI technologies; the regulation of data value chains; and the implications of AI advances for the Sustainable Development Goals. The SPRU team presented their proposals at the final workshop, which was targeted at academics and policy-makers.

Speaking about the workshop, the team emphasised the importance of taking stock of current AI research and taking a step back to reflect on what AI really is and what the varied implications of its diffusion are across sectors and firms. The team suggested that there is a window of opportunity to design large research projects to study AI future trajectories and impacts, and that these should be characterised – following an approach typical of SPRU – by multidisciplinary research combining detailed case studies, careful analysis of emerging digital traces, and theory.

More information about the team’s findings can be found on the European Commission’s website.

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By: George Meredith
Last updated: Wednesday, 28 October 2020

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