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Charles J. Sharp, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Michael S Adler, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Markus Trienke, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Stefan Krause, Germany, FAL, via Wikimedia Commons

Benh LIEU SONG (Flickr), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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AI

Visions of AI in Popular Culture: report is out

Activist organisations often have difficulties with raising awareness around the problems that they make it their mission to solve. While lack of adequate expertise or access to funding that could be spent for information campaigns, are among reasons, there is a lot to be said about the messaging and methods we chose. What if we got inspiration from pop-culture and artworks that excell at translating the emerging tendencies and new technologies into the zeitgeist?

These are the droids you’re looking for

Together with SWPS University’s Institute of Humanities in Warsaw, Poland, we delved into exactly this inspiration! Students worked under the direction of the faculty on data collection and report Visions of AI in Popular Culture: Analysis of the Narratives about Artificial Intelligence in Science Fiction Films and Series. The Wikimedia assignment was to examine attitudes and winning narratives pertaining to the key narrative tropes:

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We need a Digital Knowledge Act

A digital knowledge act for europe

In December 2023 the Communia Association, which Wikimedia Europe is a member of, rolled out the idea of a Digital Knowledge Act at the European Union level. A EU regulation that makes the interests of knowledge institutions, such as libraries, universities and schools, a top priority. 

In the past five years we have seen the EU tackling various specific digital issues through legislation – content moderation through the Digital Services Act, market power through the Digital Markets Act, data sharing through the Data Act and the Data Governance Act. All these were necessary steps, we believe, they however treated institutions, such as libraries, archives, universities and schools, almost as an afterthought.  

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Who Should be Liable for Free Software? 

The EU’s new software liability framework is coming and FOSS developers should care

Amidst the legislative discussions around AI and cybersecurity, the EU is trying to figure out the right liability framework for software, including free software. Wikimedia shares the view that companies shouldn’t get a free pass for their services just because they open sourced their code. At the same time, we don’t want to see coders, who share their work with the public and peers in order to learn, tinker or to improve a free project, worry about liability too much. They need clear and effective safeguards.

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Artificial Intelligence Act: what is the European Union regulating?

Analysis

In this installment of series of longer features on our blog we analyse the scope of the AI Act as proposed by the European Commission and assess it adequacy in the context of impact of AI in practice.

AI is going to shape the Internet more and more and through it access to information and production of knowledge. Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata are supported by machine learning tools and their role will grow in the following years. We are following the proposal for the Artificial Intelligence Act that, as the first global attempt to legally regulate AI, will have consequences for our projects, our communities and users around the world. What are we really talking about when we speak of AI? And how much of it do we need to regulate?

The devil is in the definition

It is indispensable to define the scope of any matter to be regulated, and in the case of AI that task is no less difficult than for “terrorist content” for example. There are different approaches as to what AI is taken in various debates, from scientific ones to popular public perceptions. When hearing “AI”, some people think of sophisticated algorithms – sometimes inside an android – undertaking complex, conceptual and abstract tasks or even featuring a form of self-consciousness. Some include in the definition algorithms that modify their operations based on comparisons between and against large amounts of data for example, without any abstract extrapolation.

The definition proposed by the European Commission in the AI Act lists software developed with specifically named techniques; among them machine learning approaches including deep learning, logic- and knowledge-based approaches, as well as statistical approaches including Bayesian estimation, search and optimization methods. The list is quite broad and it clearly encompasses a range of technologies used today by companies, internet platforms and public institutions alike.

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