The following concepts are vital to understand the societal challenges and opportunities of digitalisation. Moreover, they provide building blocks for academics, government, private sector and other partners to move towards a better future. Digitalisation is not an autonomous process, and these key concepts help us shape and navigate these rapid developments.
In order to make use of integrated data sets, we have to continuously validate their accuracy, their reliability, and their veracity with new forms of big data analytics. It is therefore important that relevant data is findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable (FAIR).
Easy to find by both humans and computer systems and based on mandatory description of the metadata that allow the discovery of interesting datasets.
Stored for long term such that they can be easily accessed and/or downloaded with well-defined license and access conditions.
Ready to be combined with other datasets by humans as well as computer systems.
Ready to be used for future research and to be processed further using computational methods.
FACT data science & algorithms
Closely related to FAIR data is the societal necessity for FACT data science. Only if big data applications and algorithms take important human values into account, they can contribute to a better society for all.
Unfair conclusions are avoided even if they are correctly computed from available data and models.
Computed answers are given with a guaranteed level of accuracy as so to avoid misleading conclusions.
Results are achieved in a safe and controlled manner without revealing secret (private, company) information.
Computed answers can be understood and clarified such that they become undisputable and hence trustworthy.
For a digital society to remain open and democratic, the SHARED principles apply to human-centric information technology. From sustainable to diverse, they form the building blocks for a better world to live in.
Citizen engagement needs to be invited and organised in a way that it will last longer than just the launch of a project, or the development of a programme.
Citizen engagement needs to be organised in ways that are inclusive and do not contradict existing legislation, social policy and/or standard norms of good citizenship and civil behaviour.
Citizen engagement needs to include acknowledgement of and respect for different emotional investments and concerns that people will have with respect to technology and data.
Citizen engagement need to engage those people who are directly affected by and involved with the relevant aspects and activities.
Citizen engagement needs to be aimed at providing people with a better understanding what is going on, the intellectual and practical tools to form an opinion and assessment of it, and where possible, access to the technical tools to participate in it.
Citizen engagement needs to acknowledge and accommodate the various dimensions of diversity, including gender, ethnicity, class, disability, sexuality, religion.
Rapid digitalisation also furthers the need for ROBUST systems, that are beneficial to as well as protect society from threats and harm
Changes due to accidental or malevolent damages can be absorbed without collapsing the system.
Software and hardware (and science done with it) are open for inspection, improvement, and to learn from.
Society, economy and science benefit from the functionalities provided by the system.
Humans-in-the-loop are explicitly taken into account, following a process of co-creating affective solutions.
Systems are designed to keep intruders out, to avoid abuse, and to do no harm to its users.
Systems are build such that they are available when needed and operate correctly and safely according to intended design.
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