Stirring the global technological agenda towards social good at the Web Summit

With more than 70,000 attendees over a four-day period, the Web Summit in Lisbon brought together politicians, technologists, and NGOs to think together, exchange views and set priorities.

With more than 70 dedicated discussions and panels, AI was one of the hot topics on the summit’s agenda and high on everyone’s priority list. A wide range of topics on AI and society were covered. Discussions ranged from tech presentations on how to develop better AI to existential debates on its implications for the environment and for humanity.
The SHERPA project participated in the Social Innovation Village along with other projects and initiatives all pushing the envelope for “more social good in technology and more technology in social good”. Under the auspices of the Social Good Accelerator, we set out to stir the global technological agenda towards social good and we were in good company.  We joined forces with projects and initiatives, such as Next Generation Internet, CAPPSI, MAZI, DemocratieOuverte, grassroots radio, streetwize, and so many others. 

At the event, we showcased the beginnings of SHERPA’s scenarios work that set the seeds for deepening the debate on the implications of AI in Policing, Warfare, Education, Health and Social Care, and Transport. The project attracted the keen interest of representatives from more than 100 large and small organisations and networks in Europe and further afield, from Google to Amazon to the global start-up network of the Founders Institute and many more.

We look forward to working with them to deepen and widen the debate on AI ethics, with technologists, policymakers, start-ups, NGOs and the general public. As a forerunner of the ethical debate on AI our responsibility is great, but so is our excitement.
Our concerted effort with the Social Good Accelerator, our spokesperson on stage for Doing IT with Purpose, led to public commitment by Commissioner Moedas towards the cause. We could not have hoped for more.  Listen to the highlights of the conversation here.

To get a preview of SHERPA’s scenario work and take part in the debate click here.