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EU Science and the Institutions

Information Society is a term for a society in which the creation, distribution, and manipulation of information has become the most significant economic and cultural activity. An Information Society may be contrasted with societies in which the economic underpinning is primarily Industrial or Agrarian. The machine tools of the Information Society are computers and telecommunications, rather than lathes or ploughs.

The idea of a global Information Society can be viewed in relation to Marshall McLuhan's prediction that the communications media would transform the world into a "global village."

Here is a succinct definition from the IBM Community Development Foundation in a 1997 report, "The Net Result - Report of the National Working Party for Social Inclusion."

As the EU relies on science, technology and innovation to secure its present and develop its future, reflecting on and anticipating societal impacts arising from current narratives embodied in EU policy is essential to ensure trust among citizens.

President Juncker’s inaugural guidelines call for deepening of dialogue between society and European institutions, stating that “The social market economy can only work if there is social dialogue” and vowing to be “a President of social dialogue”.

The JRC would like to put these words into practice in the ongoing science-policy interface debate. There is an area of scholarship, known as Science and Technology Studies, which provides the tools and methodologies to reflexively look into the promises science and technology can offer, and the narratives that sustain them; these tools are by design inclusive and collaborative,  enabling a deeper involvement of society in science’s and technology’s affairs.


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Of the 23 people Ford interviewed, only 18 answered, and of those, only two went on the record. Interestingly, those two individuals provided the most extreme answers: Ray Kurzweil, a futurist and director of engineering at Google, suggested that by 2029, there would be a 50 percent chance of AGI being built, and Rodney Brooks, roboticist and co-founder of iRobot, went for 2200. The rest of the guesses were scattered between these two extremes, with the average estimate being 2099 — 81 years from now.