We are storming towards the end of the year – and the legislative term – but this doesn’t mean we won’t be busy in 2024. Before you head home (or stay in Belgium) for a well-deserved break, here are the top 3 trends we recommend you stay aware of to stay on top of tech policy in 2024.
The past years have been characterised by intense legislative activity, often trying to anticipate the challenges of new technologies. 2024 is the year of the elections, so we are not likely to see many major initiatives published.
Now, there are gaps to be filled, definitions to be clarified, standards to be set and whole new governance mechanisms to be created. Implementation will be a big deal next year, so dust off your comitology handbooks and reach out to your colleagues in member states. There will be quite a lot of secondary legislation, guidelines, common specifications and transposition.
AI still on the agenda
In case you have wondered over the past week of never-ending negotiations, yes, there is life after the AI Act. And it is still about AI. Get ready to talk standards, voluntary schemes (AI Pact, Code of conduct) and targeted initiatives like the one to open the European supercomputer capacity for ethical and responsible AI start-ups (whatever that means – we will find out). Don’t forget about AI liability, either!
Keep an eye on critical technologies
The EU’s Economic Security Strategy that targets critical technologies is the latest trend to keep an eye on (we previously wrote about it in our sister newsletter, #TradeViews, here). Member states are currently working with the European Commission on a risk assessment on 4 key technologies (semiconductors, AI, quantum and biotechnologies) that may lead to investment screening or export control measures. The economic security package is expected in January – what a great way to kick-off the year!
But before that, wishing you happy holidays from the SEC Newgate EU team! 😊
The sound of a password 🔑 [PC World]
As humans, we’ve evolved from training our dogs to bring back a stick to training AI to guess passwords by the sound of typing. After rigorous coaching, British researchers managed to reach the accuracy level of 95% and make phishing experts shake in their boots. The method was also tested on Zoom and Skype, with AI being 93% accurate in those cases. But fear not – a good way to prevent AI password thieves is using 10-finger typing system, as well as having a mix of upper and lower case and special characters. Or, even better, have the passwords saved so that they can be filled in automatically, no typing involved. Stay tuned for further cybersecurity threats!
Bringing ancient ruins back to life 🏰 [TNW]
From sunken cities to medieval castles, cultural heritage startups are rewriting history by leveraging technology to foster a deeper connection with our past. Wsense pioneers subsea Wi-Fi, monitoring underwater realms like Baia, the go-to holiday destination for the elite of the Roman Empire. Dartagnans, named after the musketeer, raises €15mn through crowdfunding to save castles that would otherwise have fallen into oblivion. Hi.Stories, based in Sicily, mixes storytelling and gamification for virtual tours of historical sites to resurrect ancient stories. These startups bridge the past and present, proving that you don’t need a time machine to experience history, just some innovative tech magic.
X marks the spot, the spot of a trap ✖ [TNW]
Love it or hate it, it is impossible to escape social media nowadays. It allows us stay in contact with loved ones, follow the news, access favourite music and elevate our professional lives. But do we have a real choice to choose what platforms we use? When Elon Musk bought Twitter, many were fast to call this the death of the site due to the new management and leadership style. But a year later, no social media platform has risen as a real competitor, not even after its new branding to ”X”. To avoid FOMO, we would all have to agree to jump ship. But the fear of making the switch only to find everyone else had stayed behind is real – and so we continue tweeting, trapped by comfort, hoping one day something better will come around; something good enough that will make us all jump at the same time.
In case you haven’t had enough:
The quiet plan to make the internet feel faster [The Verge]
These robots know when to ask for help [MIT Technology Review]
Dome-shaped screens might be the next big monitor trend [PC World]
Medical microrobots that can travel inside your body are (still) on their way [MIT Technology Review]
Why scientists are making transparent wood [ArsTechnica]
About this week’s guest editor, Giovanni Bazzoli:
I am a tech policy expert, dealing with data, AI, cybersecurity, and tech-related tax and trade topics. I joined SEC Newgate EU 2.5 years ago and have been Brussels for almost 6 years. I also help as a teaching assistant at a data protection law course in Italy. If you’re interested in further discussing what EU tech policy will look like in 2024, reach out!