TU Wien Informatics

George Metakides: Democracy in the Digital Age

  • 2023-11-17
  • Doctoral School

George Metakides provides an overview of various aspects of democracy in the digital age.

George Metakides: Democracy in the Digital Age
Picture: tomertu / stock.adobe.com

Public Lecture

Democracy in the Digital Age

Studies by different organizations on the state of democracy worldwide, while using different methodologies, all arrive at the conclusion that there has been a continuous quantitative and qualitative retreat of democratic practices, including participation in and integrity of elections, civil liberties and the rule of law for the last 16 years. During this same period there have been galloping advances in digital technology and its applications that continue to this day with AI as its fer-de-lance. Democracy and the digital interact more and more deeply with potential positive as well as negative impact on the former. Democracy in the Digital Era, using the latest advances in AI as a case study, aims to promote the understanding of the positive and the negative impact of the digital on democracy, formulating proposals for action to empower and promote the former while preventing or at least containing the latter in the spirit of digital humanism.

This public lecture is part of the Digital Humanism Fellowship Conference, November 16-17. This conference asks the provocative question, Can Machines Save the World?

About George Metakides

Born in Thessaloniki, Greece, George Metakides received his Ph.D. in Mathematical Logic from Cornell University in 1971. He pursued an academic career at MIT, Cornell and Rochester University until 1978, when he returned to Greece after being elected to the Chair of Logic at the University of Patras. Since 1984 he has held senior positions with responsibility for Research and Development policy, funding and international co-operation in European institutions.

He established and headed the department for Basic Research and International Scientific Relations in Information Technologies at the European Commission from 1988 to 1993. He was the Director of the ESPRIT (European Strategic Program for Information Technologies), from 1993 until its completion in 1998, followed by the Information Society Technologies (IST) Program (1998-2002). In 2002 he returned to his professorship at Patras until his retirement in 2012. He has contributed to the establishment of international institutions (including the launch of the World Wide Web consortium in 1993), has received a number of awards and honorary degrees and is a corresponding member of several National Academies.

He will be visiting professor at TU Wien and IWM senior fellow in the Fall of 2023, he is co-founder and Honorary President of the Digital Enlightenment Forum, and Advisor to several international organizations. He is involved in the analysis of the economic, political and social impact of digitization related regulatory issues and the promotion of international cooperation towards a digital ecosystem respecting shared human values.

He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the Technical University of Bucharest and the University of Thessaloniki and is an honorary professor of the University of Moscow. He is a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and an honorary member of the Romanian Academy of Science. He has received the Medal of Honor of the Bulgarian Academy of Science, the Polish Information Society Recognition Award, for his efforts to build co-operation between IT professionals in the EU, the Nokia Award and the Telecom Europe Prize for his contribution to the development and dissemination of new information and communication technologies in Europe.

About Current Trends in Computer Science

This lecture is part of the Current Trends in Computer Science lecture series by the TU Wien Informatics Doctoral School, where renowned guest professors hold public lectures every semester.

If you are studying with us, the lecture series can be credited as an elective course for students of master programs of computer science: 195.072 Current Trends in Computer Science. Additionally, you can join courses held by this year’s guest professors of our doctoral colleges and the TU Wien Informatics Doctoral School.

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