About this event

The ethics, regulations, and governance of artificial intelligence (AI) are increasingly the focus of policymakers, administrators, and politicians. The latest phase of AI innovation, represented by the launch of ChatGPT in 2022, has further fueled the discussion over the need for a coherent, enforceable, and future-proof AI regulatory framework. While many of the policy discussions on AI focus on the economy, the rise of autonomous and semi-autonomous algorithms will affect a variety of societal, cultural, and political fields. In the European Union, this is particularly relevant in the cases of Hungary and until recently Poland, which have been described as illiberal democracies after nationalist, right-wing parties came to power in 2010 and 2015 respectively. In such contexts, AI policies may pose particular risks, further undermining democratic values and institutions (the rule of law, judiciary independence, and access to fundamental rights). A better understanding of the state’s dual role as regulator and market actor in the context of the AI transformation and its use by illiberal governments in polarized societies can shed light on the complex nature of the technology’s impacts on democracy and on measures mitigating risks.

What characterizes the AI policies of Hungary and Poland? Will the recent change in government in Poland impact the country’s AI policies? How will the EU’s newly agreed AI Act, impact Central and Eastern Europe? What are the challenges and opportunities? Will the AI Act be enough to stop violations of democratic values and fundamental rights characteristic of illiberal democracies? What strategies can be employed to counteract the rise of “digital authoritarianism”?

This discussion will examine the emerging AI policies in Hungary and Poland, and their potential social and political consequences, with a focus set on democratic values, human rights, or civic participation, in the context of the evolving EU regulatory environment.

For more information, please contact Monika Dlugosch ([email protected]).

The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) is a nonpartisan policy organization committed to the idea that the United States and Europe are stronger together.