KT4D kicks off to explore how AI and Big Data empower Civic Participation in Democracy

15 Jun 2023

Trinity College Dublin coordinates a consortium comprising 12 partners with extensive expertise in social science, humanities, ICT, communication, and research.

The Horizon Europe project Knowledge Technologies for Democracy (KT4D) kicked off in Dublin on 14 April 2023. The project will explore how Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data technologies can empower civic participation and democracy. At the same time, KT4D will seek ways to appropriately mitigate the potential ethical, legal, and cultural risks associated with this technology's increasing and widespread use. Overall the KT4D project aims to increase citizen engagement and participation in democratic and decision-making processes. 

The launch of KT4Democracy.eu comes at a time when there is increasing concern about the erosion of democracy in Europe and the growing influence of AI and Big Data on the democratic process. “The challenges that KT4D faces are the ones that we all experience but no one really knows how to address: Advanced knowledge technologies coming into conflict with Democratic Values”, Dr. Jennifer Edmond (Trinity College Dublin - KT4D coordinator) remarked during the kick-off meeting. 
Recognising the transformative potential of new information and communication technologies, Angel Sola Lopez - Cibervoluntarios -  emphasised the need for informed participation. "Artificial intelligence and big data can promote better and larger participation among citizens, but they need to be well informed and aware." 

Keith Hyams from the University of Warwick also highlighted the complex challenges faced by democracy in the digital age. "There are two main challenges, one is related to the debate about and interest in where democracy is heading right now and so many big questions about what the role of democracy is, how democracy works in the context of a society that has all these new technologies.”

KT4D needs to bridge the gap between possibility and responsibility. "How do we really make the connection between what we can do and what we ought to do in order to afford a democracy that can swell and grow?" is the question Max Stearns from Democratic Society posed to the consortium and the society at large. By leveraging knowledge technologies, such as AI and Big Data, while responsibly drawing on insights from culture and humanities, KT4D aims to empower citizens, foster informed participation, and safeguard democratic values. 

As the KT4D project embarks on its mission to shape a democratic landscape that aligns with the aspirations of European societies, the consortium partners invite stakeholders, activists, and visionaries to join forces in creating a future where every citizen's voice is heard and valued. For more information about the KT4D project and its initiatives, please visit KT4Democracy.eu.

A video of the event with short interviews discussing the project is now available below (on our website for Trust-IT) and on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEK9385GiEk

Our role

Trust-IT will lead the Dissemination, Communication, Consultation, and Exploitation work package, an essential requirement for the successful fulfilment of the project objectives. Trust-IT is well placed to deliver this work as an experienced partner in EU funded programmes for over 20 years in the planning and delivery of these activities for research and science projects. In addition to the organisation and creation of a significant online presence (via the website, and social media channels) there will also be several events organised during the project including Co-creation workshops (12), Training & Awareness Webinars (6), and impact events (2). In collaboration with the affiliated entity COMMpla, Trust-IT co-develops and manages the KT4D branding and online presence, including the project website, social media channels, and other digital materials.

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Publication date: 15 Jun 2023

Article by

Gabriele Quattrocchi

Project Manager