Europe examines its technological 'freakiness' | Science

The European Commission renews its strategy to help citizens digest the new digital revolution, and involve them in areas such as big data, the Internet of Things, privacy and cybersecurity. More and more crucial, they are already profoundly changing our societies and the labor market; but by themselves they are concepts that do not hook easily to the great public, beyond the passionate ones by the new technologies, to whom this new European project officially recognizes like "frikis".

Detect that freak Technology in the European population is the first objective of the new campaign of the REIsearch initiative, which starts today. An experience of citizen participation to connect society with a network of leading experts, and in which eight major European media - including EL PAÍS - will act as intermediaries. The data collected from users (in a format compatible with the new data protection directive) will be used by REIsearch to measure the level of competence and awareness of European public in technological facets that permeate their day to day, such as automation or artificial intelligence.

In the new and changing digital context, this knowledge is a great asset for social inclusion and democratic resilience in Europe, as well as for its competitiveness and economic growth. This was stated by the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Junker, in his recent speech on the State of the Union, stressing that the number of active workers in Europe (239 million people) has never been so high and even, but warning of a black point: "Youth unemployment is 14.8%, it is still very high".

Game and online participation

In its third campaign, REIsearch follows the steps of the 2016 action on chronic diseases and the 2017 one on the internet of the future, with the participation of more than 60,000 people in each of them. This year's campaign seeks to involve an even larger number of Europeans through a new and gamified approach that allows users to evaluate their level of online freak computer

To this game, called iNerd (iFriki, in English) can be played through the web and through the portals of the participating media. Players explore their knowledge through four key areas of the digital world: Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, social networks and the Internet of Things, obtaining ratings, profiles and credentials that can be shared online.

Once the session is completed, the player's score will also take you to a selection of videos and explanatory articles aimed at improving your weakest points. The 24 audiovisual pieces have eight European experts in the areas of Big Data and AI, social networks, the Internet of Things as well as privacy and cybersecurity. The campaign will be promoted on the Internet in an important way through the hashtag: #hownerdyareyou.

The aim of the REIsearch campaign is to initiate a reliable and authoritative debate on digital competences (based on audiovisual literacy), bringing together researchers, media, policy makers and citizens from all over Europe. This will allow the Parliament and the European Commission to be supported in shaping future strategies that promote inclusive development of the digital sphere in the coming years through regulation, political action and financing.

The REIsearch project

REIsearch is a European non-profit initiative, funded by the European Commission and promoted by Atomium (European Institute for Science, Media and Democracy) and launched seven years ago in the European Parliament by the former President of France, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, and has the support of the President of the European Commission: "Science must be open and free of its traditional ivory tower, to be discussed, subjected to criticism and fed with new perspectives. of the REIsearch seek to engage European citizens and inspire new ideas on how to solve some of the most pressing problems of our society, "said Jean-Claude Juncker.

This initiative coordinates eight European media organizations, including Der Standard, THE COUNTRY, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Les Echos, Irish Times, Il Sole24ore Y Public, to disseminate online citizen participation campaigns. It also involves educational institutions such as the University of Oxford, the University of Milan, the University of Barcelona, ​​the Berkman Center for Internet and the Society of the Harvard Law School, as well as companies and organizations in the technology sector such as Arduino, WeMake, OpenWear and Digital Catapult.


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