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Updated: Jan 31, 2023

Third times are always a charm! EucA, Social Warning and MeOut did it again!

Europeans Go Digital brought together in Thessaloniki, Greece, on 8-10 September more than 73 participants from 13 EU countries to exchange ideas and propose amendments to the EU Artificial Intelligence Act.

Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) human or machine-oriented? How does AI touch our daily lives?

The main topics of the discussion were the threats and challenges that the EU is facing in the field of AI, as well as the need for better transparency and engagement between the EU institutions and young citizens.

On the first day Mr. Constantinos Tsoutsoplides, Head of the European Parliament Office in Greece, and Hon. Eva Kaili, Vice President of the European Parliament attended as panelists and participants battled to emerge victorious in the Oxford-style debate.

They were divided into “debaters” and “audience”, with three consecutive motions: 1. Do you think AI will undermine democracy in Europe, eroding fundamental rights and citizens’ freedom? 2. Do you think European citizens are prepared and have the necessary skills to adapt to such a rapid AI disruption? 3. Do you think it is necessary to constrain AI innovation and development in order to protect people’s jobs?

The Citizens’ Assembly was the format of the second day. Divided into seven work groups, students discussed possible amendments to the EU legislation on AI that is currently under negotiation at the European Parliament.

On the last day, all groups presented their proposals to the jury composed of Prof. George Kartsiotis, Lecturer at Perrotis College, and Ms. Leighanne Penna, Coordinator of Institutional Effectiveness & Strategic Initiatives at the American Farm School, who selected the top-three proposals for their concrete impact on EU legislation. An insightful discussion followed.

Everyone did an excellent job!

It was inspirational and informative. Also, I liked the multicultural aspect and the fact that I learned about AI in a debate sort of way, not in a cold academic environment.

G. S. from Hungary

What's next?

As the project aims to bring young EU citizens and EU institutions closer together, the winning proposals of this event will be presented to MEPs and national policymakers. This way, future plenary discussions will voice our young Europeans' vision on AI.

We are grateful for their commitment to all the participants coming from our Colleges: 73 citizens - 13 from Italy (2 from Naples, 1 from Padua, 1 from Campo Calabro, 1 from

Monteforte d'Alpone, 1 from Busto Arsizio, 1 from Turin, 1 from Rome, 1 from Cagliari, 1 from Malo, 1 from Schio, 2 from Trieste) 19 from Hungary (1 from Veszprem, 10 from Budapest, 2 from Nagykanizsa, 1 from Karcag, 1 from Nyíregyháza, 1 from Szekszárd, 1 from Ságújfali, 1 from Csömör, 1 from Fót), 5 from Spain (all from Madrid), 1 from Cyprus, 3 from Germany (1 from Hannover, 2 from Bremen), 1 from Portugal (Lisbon), 3 from Romania (2 from Tirgu Mures, 1 from Cluj-Napoca), 1 from Serbia (Belgrade), 1 from Ireland (Roscommon), 1 from Poland (Warsaw), 2 from Slovenia (1 from Ljubljana, 1 from Kranj), 1 from Belgium (Brussels), 22 from Greece (21 from Thessaloniki, 1 from Alexandroupoli).

Thank you also to our partners, MeOut and Social Warning - Movimento Etico Digitale that actively attended the event!

A big special thanks to our hosts, Perrotis College and the American Farm School! They made EGD Thessaloniki an unforgettable experience!!!

Next (and final) stop? EGD event in Leuven!

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