Art-driven use experiments and design (RIA)
Horizon Europe Framework Programme (HORIZON)
A HUMAN-CENTRED AND ETHICAL DEVELOPMENT OF DIGITAL AND INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGIES 2021
Deadline model: single-stage
Planned opening date: 22 June 2021
Deadline date: 21 October 2021 17:00:00 Brussels time
Dedicated collaboration of industry with artists in R&D projects will lead to novel products and services in line with a human-centred approach to innovation and with sustainability goals. Proposals should bring together artistic practices with the technological expertise provided by the consortium. This will:
- Stimulate uptake of digital technologies across selected sectors – (Green) Manufacturing, Mobility/Urbanism, Health, Agriculture, Energy and Space through art-driven experimentations to address social, business or sustainability challenges in the chosen sector(s).
- Increase trust in and acceptance of digital technologies in society through art-driven design and development of digital technologies. The development process and system behaviour of the technologies should explicitly acknowledge human values and needs and thereby enable social inclusion and environmentally friendly innovation.
Design of technology and deployment in selected sectors will be explored through use cases between stakeholders in industry – engineers, developers –, end-users and artists though dedicated industrial projects in continuation of the S+T+ARTS residencies and S+T+ARTS lighthouse pilots. The role of the arts will be to (i) conceive challenging human-centred use scenarios, (ii) explore alternative design methods and use scenarios for technologies using artistic practice. Artists are contributing in system design and system testing and by allowing exploration of technology in an artistic context. The call addresses all digital technologies but in particular Artificial Intelligence. Calls will be open to research and technology institutions, companies, and SMEs willing to provide access to selected (digital) technologies and to connect to the arts.
The consortium will provide technical support and access to a range of digital technologies for art-driven experimentation and support via financial support to third-parties for art-driven experimentation. The support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants to: (a) artists interested to explore and to work with technologies to enhance their usability and uptake and (b) artists and end-users/providers of novel technologies collaborating in art-driven experiments. Third parties will be funded through projects typically up to EUR 40 000 per project for type (a) and EUR 80 000 per project for type (b) (30% of which to artists). At least EUR 400 000 of the requested EU contribution should be dedicated to financial support to third parties of type (a) and at least EUR 800 000 to type (b).
Specific Topic Conditions:
Activities are expected to start at TRL 3 and achieve TRL 5 by the end of the project – see General Annex B.
Socio-economic science and humanities
A human-centred and ethical development of digital and industrial technologies
This destination will directly support the following Key Strategic Orientations, as outlined in the Strategic Plan:
- KSO D, Creating a more resilient, inclusive and democratic European society, prepared and responsive to threats and disasters, addressing inequalities and providing high-quality health care, and empowering all citizens to act in the green and digital transitions.
Proposals for topics under this Destination should set out a credible pathway contributing to the following expected impact:
- A human-centred and ethical development of digital and industrial technologies, through a two-way engagement in the development of technologies, empowering end-users and workers, and supporting social innovation.
As Europe takes the lead in the green and digital transitions, workers, regions, and societies are faced with extremely fast transformations, and will be differently affected by these changes. The rapid adoption of new technologies offers an immense potential for improved standards of living, safer mobility, better healthcare, new jobs, or the personalisation of public services. At the same time, it presents risks such as skills mismatches, digital divides, customer lock-in, or serious breaches of security or privacy.
As Europe sets off on its path to recovery towards a greener, digital and more resilient economy and society, the need to improve and adapt skills, knowledge and competences becomes all the more important. Developments in digital and enabling technologies have the potential to enhance social inclusion, can inform up-skilling training programmes and ensure a two-way engagement with society with regard to developing technologies.
The issue of trust has become central in the use of technologies, following revelations about the exploitation of personal data, large-scale cybersecurity and data breaches, and growing awareness of online disinformation. As outlined in the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence (COM(2020)65), for AI technologies, trust requires in particular improving transparency (explainability, expected levels of performance). For the Internet, increasing trust requires new tools and services to ensure that GDPR is a reality for end-users.
It is also an opportunity for Europe to re-gain presence on the consumer electronics market, by developing new interactive applications in various sectors with solutions meeting European values and requirements in terms of privacy and security. The COVID-19 crisis has also shown how important distance and innovative learning is for society.
Actions under this Destination will support EU objectives of inclusiveness, by supporting a human-centred approach to technology development that is aligned with European social and ethical values, as well as sustainability. These actions will further contribute to addressing the challenges faced by European industry and support the creation of sustainable, high-quality jobs by targeting skills mismatches, the need to empower workers, and ethical considerations relating to technological progress.
Actions should devote particular attention to openness of the solutions and results, and transparency of the research process. To ensure trustworthiness, public awareness and support, wide adoption by user communities for the benefit of society, actions should promote the highest standards of transparency and openness.
Actions should ensure that the processes and outcomes of research and innovation align with the needs, values and expectations of society, in line with Responsible Research and Innovation.
This Destination is structured into the following headings, which group topics together with similar outcomes to address a common challenge:
- Leadership in AI based on trust
The objective of this heading is to ensure autonomy for Europe in AI, leading the way in research, development and deployment of world-class technologies that are beneficial to humans individually, organisationally and societally, and that adheres to European values, such as the principles reflected in our fundamental rights and environmental sustainability. Technologies need to be developed that industries and citizens will trust, so and that they could be applied in a wide range of applications and industrial sectors. Trustworthy AI is particularly key in applications such as (but not limited to) healthcare or in diverse critical infrastructures such as energy and transportation.
Some topics of this heading are under the co-programmed Partnership ‘AI, Data and Robotics’.
Proposals are encouraged to link with relevant European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and its Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), in particular the EIT Digital.
EIT Digital plays role in shaping technologies and innovations that work for people. At least two of its focus areas, Digital Wellbeing and Digital Cities, address directly topics such as ethical artificial intelligence, predictive analytics or augmented and virtual reality that are relevant to this areas. The solutions will benefit from the increasing will of citizens to participate in the sharing economy. EIT Digital, through projects with cities for example, improves engagement and inclusiveness of the citizens and of the visitors by increasingly organising and exposing data, especially in real time and along with analytics and machine learning. Augmented and virtual reality of the cities are another facet of exposing or simulating city data from the past, present or future to the benefit of citizens.
- An Internet of Trust
The issue of trust in the internet has become central, following revelations about the exploitation of personal data, large-scale cybersecurity and data breaches, and growing awareness of online disinformation. A 2019 survey[] shows that half of the global internet users are more concerned about their online privacy compared to a year previously. Distrust in the Internet is causing people to change the way they behave online, for example by disclosing less personal information. Users also express an increasing level of distrust of social media platforms.
The objective of this heading is to develop a trustworthy digital environment, built on a more resilient, sustainable, and decentralised internet, to empower end-users with more control over their data and their digital identity, and to enable new social and business models respecting European values.
- eXtended Reality (XR)
Due to its low presence in the consumer electronics industry, Europe is increasingly dependent on external providers in this area. This raises concerns about its digital sovereignty in crucial domains such as digital interaction services that are being adopted by a growing number of European users and industries. The COVID-19 crisis has shown how important distance and innovative learning is for society, our children, their parents and their teachers, maintaining social and educational links under challenging circumstances. Emerging technologies such as virtual reality, eXtended Reality or immersive environments provide numerous opportunities for personalised, innovative, efficient and inclusive learning, for learners of all ages, gender and condition
The objective of this heading is to gain industrial leadership in eXtended Reality technologies and immersive environments, while ensuring the European values of privacy, ethics and inclusiveness. It also aims to support the digital transformation of education through these technologies in particular.
- Systemic approaches to make the most of the technologies within society and industry.
This heading promotes various systemic approaches to encourage creativity and make the most of the technologies developed elsewhere within society and industry. They include testing ideas in local communities; support for IP, standardisation and industry-academia exchanges; art-driven design; and assessments of complex socio-economic systems. These are complemented by support for a network of National Contact Points (NCPs), with a special emphasis on engaging with new actors.
Activities beyond R&I investments will be needed to realise the expected impacts: testing, experimentation, demonstration, and support for take-up using the capacities, infrastructures, and European Digital Innovation Hubs made available under the Digital Europe Programme; further development of skills and competencies via the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, in particular EIT Digital and EIT Manufacturing; upscaling of trainings via the European Social Fund +; use of financial instruments under the InvestEU Fund for further commercialisation of R&I outcomes; and links to the thematic smart specialisation platform on industrial modernisation
Proposals for topics under this Destination should set out a credible pathway to contributing to a human-centred and ethical development of digital and industrial technologies, and more specifically to one or several of the following impacts:
- Increased inclusiveness, by supporting a human-centred approach to technology development that is aligned with European social and ethical values, as well as sustainability;
- Sustainable, high-quality jobs by targeting skills mismatches, the need to empower workers, and ethical considerations relating to technological progress [[2019 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust]].