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Simona Demkova speaks at conference 'Artificial Intelligence, between Ethics and Law'

On Monday 22 January 2024, the University of Florence hosted the conference 'Artificial Intelligence, between Ethics and Law'. Organised by the Department of Legal Sciences, the conference brought together leading experts to discuss the rapidly evolving landscape of artificial intelligence (AI) and its implications for ethics and legal frameworks.

The conference opened with a session moderated by Erik Longo, Professor of Constitutional Law, and featured esteemed speakers, including the Vice President of the Italian Privacy Supervisor, Ginevra Cerrina Feroni, Professor Andrea Simoncini, and Professor Fosca Giannotti from the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. The second session, moderated by Federica Camisa (University of Florence), included contributions from scholars Andrea Gatti (University of Teramo), Giovanni De Gregorio (Catholic University of Lisbon), Giuseppe Mobilio (University of Florence) and Simona Demkova.

In her presentation, Simona shed light on the challenges posed by automation in composite decision-making processes involving various European jurisdictions, drawing from her recently published book 'Automated Decision-Making and Effective Remedies'. She discussed the context of semi-automated decision-making, emerging from extensive information sharing within the European Union's area of freedom, security and justice. The presentation focused on three key challenges for ensuring effective recourse against this decision-making process: a) the problem of measuring the effects of automation; b) the challenge of transparency beyond mere opacity; and c) the existing jurisdictional constraints in the underlying cooperation.

The conference aimed to delve deeper into the critical theme of AI and its increasing influence on automated decision-making processes across various sectors, including public administration and businesses. The event was organised within the framework of the ARC 2 project (Awareness Raising Campaign for SMEs 2), which seeks to enhance the understanding of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) regarding their obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the respective Italian and Croatian legal frameworks for personal data protection.

The ARC 2 project involves collaborative efforts from various organisations, including the Privacy Supervisor for Personal Data Protection (GPDP - Italy), the Data Protection Authority of Croatia (AZOP - coordinator), the University of Zagreb (Department of Computer Science), and the University of Brussels (VRIJE).

The conference made an important contribution to the ongoing debate on the ethical and legal implications of AI. As technology continues to advance at an unprecedented speed, the discussion and collaboration among experts from diverse fields will remain crucial in shaping the ethical and legal frameworks that govern AI's integration into our society.

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