Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms are already part of our daily lives, as the decision-making processes using such algorithms are commonly used in every society and their impact in the near future is perceived as a “game changer” to democratic governance. AI algorithms are widely used in the online content display and moderation, to determine which content should be available on the internet, in offering personalised recommendations to users, in the employment sector or even in predicting and fighting epidemics or in self-driving cars.
AI algorithms are operating through using machine “intelligence” to learn and store knowledge, to make analysis and predictions based on a set of rules and the given data sets. AI is still considered an emerging technology, although historically it has been more than 50 years since the beginnings of it.
How is AI connected to the youth sector?
Given the important role played by AI in public life (in helping governments make decisions or in influencing citizens’ interactions), young people represent a key stakeholder that will shape the future of AI and its impact on social life. Thus, youth participation needs to be increased in governance processes to ensure that:
- There will be no risk of exclusion of young people in a field developing as fast as AI;
- Human rights principles and ethical concerns are addressed taking the youth perspective into account;
- AI literacy and educational tools will enable youth to raise awareness of the issue, to support advancing digital skills in their networks and to facilitate the transition to the future of work, equipping the next generation with technological resources and knowledge;
- Research and assessments of how AI impacts the youth sector will be crucial in ensuring societal well-being and economic progress.
For these reasons, many international fora have one of their focuses on AI and youth. Thus, the Council of Europe established a dedicated programme on youth and AI and launched a declaration on youth participation in AI governance in 2020, while UNICEF or WEF are working on drafting a policy guidance on AI for children.
Besides the high level debates on AI, there are notable initiatives such as hackathons, accelerators, and bootcamps providing mentoring, workshops and networking opportunities to teenagers and young people to discover the world of AI, to create their very first projects in the field and to create a positive social impact using the potential of AI algorithms.