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Provincie Noord-Holland heeft in mei 2021 een nieuwe datastrategie in concept vastgesteld. De wereld verandert snel en de strategie uit 2018 sloot steeds minder aan bij de huidige ambities. Het streven is om datatechnologie in te zetten voor optimale resultaten van onze maatschappelijke opgaven.
Hierbij zijn drie elementen van belang. Als eerste ‘duurzaamheid’. Wij willen profiteren van digitalisering op een manier die zo min mogelijk ten koste gaat van natuurlijke hulpbronnen. Het tweede element is ‘transparantie’. Wij zien in transparantie de kans om te innoveren mét het vertrouwen van onze inwoners. Het laatste element is ‘data-soevereiniteit’. Wij zien het als onze verantwoordelijkheid om onze onafhankelijkheid zo veel mogelijk te borgen. En misschien nog wel belangrijker: óók de onafhankelijkheid van de inwoners van Noord-Holland.
Om deze stip op de horizon te bereiken hebben we vier doelstellingen opgesteld:
In 2023 zijn wij beter dan nu in staat om met data de maatschappelijke resultaten van onze opgaven te beschrijven, verklaren, voorspellen of optimaliseren.
Met datatechnologie dragen we bij aan de maatschappelijke resultaten die wij voor onze opgaven willen bereiken. Die resultaten verschillen per opgave. Daarom zullen wij voor elke opgave de datapositie in kaart brengen, zo kunnen we tegemoetkomen aan de specifieke behoeften. Voor een aantal complexe deelopgaven starten we bijvoorbeeld een experiment, waarbij we de mogelijkheden van een ‘digital twin’ onderzoeken.
In 2023 zijn de digitaliseringsbelangen van onze provincie adequaat behartigd op het niveau van de Europese Unie, de Rijksoverheid, de Tweede Kamer en de regio Amsterdam.
Digitalisering en AI vertegenwoordigen een steeds groter economisch en maatschappelijk belang. Zij hebben meer en meer politiek-bestuurlijke aandacht. Zowel op het niveau van de Europese Unie, de Rijksoverheid, de Tweede Kamer als de regio Amsterdam. Dat is relevant voor onze lobby.
In 2023 is meer data van de provincie open en toegankelijk beschikbaar en weten de inwoners van Noord-Holland waar ze deze data kunnen vinden.
Open data is voor de provincie om twee redenen van belang. Allereerst draagt het bij aan transparantie, wat essentieel is voor het vertrouwen van onze inwoners. Daarnaast stelt open data externe partijen, bijvoorbeeld startups, in staat om applicaties te ontwikkelen. Hiervoor richten wij in 2021 een open dataregister in. En hebben wij in 2023 onze meest relevante open datasets gepubliceerd.
In 2023 ervaren inwoners, bedrijven en onze partners dat wij inzet van data en datatechnologie afwegen tegen de Tada-waarden: inclusief, zeggenschap, menselijke maat, legitiem en gecontroleerd, open en transparant, van iedereen - voor iedereen.
We werken vóór onze inwoners en bedrijven. Dus zorgen we dat ons werk met data geen negatieve gevolgen voor hen heeft. Kortom: we gaan verantwoord om met data en datatechnologie. Om dit waar te maken experimenteren we in 2021-2023 met het toepassen van de Tada-waarden en werken we toe naar het publiceren van onze algoritmen in een register. Zo innoveert de provincie Noord-Holland mét het vertrouwen van haar inwoners en bedrijven.
Note van ASC: Wil je nog net iets meer weten? Laat het weten in de comments.
Sinds september 2018 werken vastgoedbelegger Merin en techbedrijf Spectral samen om de huurders van Merin een hoger comfortniveau te bieden tot een verbeterde energie-efficiëntie te komen. De pilotfase ging zo goed - huurders ervaren een beter klimaat en er werd 40% minder gas en 15% minder elektriciteit verbruikt - dat de twee partijen hun samenwerking nu opschalen naar 17 gebouwen.
Comfort is cruciaal
Het verminderen van de CO₂-uitstoot door kantoorgebouwen is een cruciaal onderdeel van de duurzaamheidsdoelstellingen van Merin. De grootste prioriteit is ervoor te zorgen dat het comfort van huurders tijdens dit proces wordt gehandhaafd. Door het plaatsen van extra sensoren die onder andere temperatuur en CO₂ meten, wordt het comfort in het hele gebouw gemonitord. Op basis van die data stuurt de software de klimaatinstallaties actief aan.
Hoe wordt er zoveel bespaard en waardoor wordt het comfort verhoogd?
Door het overnemen van de aansturing van de installaties met de active control-module. Slimme algoritmes optimaliseren het klimaat en voorkomen energieverspilling omdat gas- en elektriciteitsverbruik efficiënter worden. In het Smart Building Platform (SBP) van Spectral komen de beschikbare data(bronnen) van de gebouwen samen. Het platform biedt inzicht in de (duurzaamheids)prestaties voor gebouweigenaren. De software verrijkt die verbruiksdata met weersvoorspellingen, de bezettingsgraad en andere input. Met al deze data stuurt het platform de installaties in de gebouwen op een slimme manier aan en bespaart het elektriciteit en gas zonder kostbare ingrepen. Lees meer..
Algorithms are becoming increasingly important. For example, they influence how electricity is distributed amongst car charging stations. But during peak hours, who is allowed to load first and at what speed? And how do you know - as a user - what is happening and if the choices made are fair? To find answers to these questions, the Transparent Charging Station project was started in 2017. A short documentary on this topic has premiered on March 18th 2021.
Documentary 'Transparant Charging Station'
In this short documentary, six experts talk about the origin, development and future of the Transparent Charging Station. The documentary was made possible by Knowledge and Innovation Center ElaadNL, Municipality of Amsterdam, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, The Incredible Machine and TU Delft.
With: designer Marcel Schouwenaar, initiator Thijs Turèl, scientist Kars Alfrink, Smart Mobility expert Ruben Polderman, behavioral researcher Lotte Gardien and software engineer Ton Smets.
“Voorheen werd er gewoon rondgebeld: ‘Wij zitten in de instroom van de ArenA. We hebben nu 20.000 man binnen. Hoe gaat het bij jullie op straat?’” In de achtste aflevering van de serie A Radical Redesign for Amsterdam, spreken Carin ten Hage en Geert Kloppenburg met Maurits van Hövell (Johan Cruijff ArenA). Hoe houdt je een wijk met de drie grootste evenementenlocaties van het land, bereikbaar en veilig? Ze spreken elkaar in het Operationeel Mobiliteitscentrum over de rol van de stad Amsterdam, data delen en het houden van regie. A Radical Redesign for Amsterdam wordt gemaakt in opdracht van de Gemeente Amsterdam.
Luister de podcast hier: http://bit.ly/mvhovell
Looking for an internship where you can develop new skills in communications, marketing, PR and event management? Do you have an interest in how AI & data science can contribute to a healthier society and better medical care? Want to work as part of a fun and inspiring team?
As Amsterdam’s key network for data- and AI-driven innovation Smart Health Amsterdam (Gemeente Amsterdam & Amsterdam Economic Board) in #the #life #sciences and #health sector, we’re looking for an intern. Interested? Get in touch today.
Last December, the 20 partners of Amsterdam Smart City came together to present the progress of innovation projects, ask for input, share dilemmas and involve other partners in their initiatives.
Following the thought that nobody wants to live in a smart city but in a nice, friendly, cosy city we work on challenges in which people play a central role. These gatherings are called Demo days and occur every 8-10 weeks. Get a quick overview of the topics and projects about to happen in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area and let us know if you want to be involved!
ELSA Lab: AI, Media & Democracy
Pascal Wiggers, senior lecturer Responsible Artificial Intelligence at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, is working on an Ethical Legal Societal Aspects Lab to investigate and shape the impact of AI on our society. The University of Applied Sciences is doing this in co-creation together with residents, companies, knowledge institutions and governments. Partners want to understand how AI-driven applications in the media and public space
influence democracy. They also want to experiment with new applications of AI in the media and in the democratic process and draft new ethical and legal guidelines. Pascal is looking for parties that want to join the consortium. Various Amsterdam Smart City partners are interested to join. You too?
Object Detection Kit
Keeping the city streets clean is a major challenge. Maarten Sukel from the City of Amsterdam developed an image recognition system that shows streets in real time maps. For example, garbage bags and other unwanted objects in
the street scene are recognized. The system is based on machine learning and ultimately, we can clean Amsterdam more efficiently and sustainably. The system is continuously improved and tested. In the future it might be used for the recognition of water puddles in the streets, track missing pets, link with a module that shows the value of objects on the streets and more.
Seenons believes in a future with 0% residual waste as a standard. Seenons makes it easy to separate waste and then pick it up separately and sustainably. Citizens and companies offer their separate flows via an app, the Seenons platform proposes the optimal route with the best transport options and delivers the residual flows to processors who make new products of them. Seenons also prevents contamination of flows through clear separation and fine-meshed collection. Environmental friendly transport is used, such as cargo bikes.
Mapping of material flows
Maintaining the value of the raw materials was a central topic at this Demoday. Martijn Kamps from Metabolic started with a presentation about recycling of materials. Based on cases in Rotterdam and Philadelphia he showed that there is a lot of construction and demolition waste that is still dumped or burned. This is issue is still not solved because there is too little data available about these materials. According to Metabolic, urban mining can help. A lot information about volumes of waste is available, but there is no business case yet. You can see where flows come from, identify them, decide where you store materials in the meantime and then, where you want to reuse them. The PUMA project was one of the first projects in this field and current projects are all a sequel to PUMA.
Arnout Sabbe from Geofluxus continued. Geofluxus is a startup which originates from REPAIR, a project with Metabolic and AMS Institute, among others. Geofluxus is working on a reclassification model for raw materials. Currently, there are many databases in which raw materials are registered. Geofluxus brings these together as a combination of data sources from industrial waste. In the Geofluxus monitor you can see how p.e. wood from the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area eventually spreads all over the world. It shows the impact on the road network and CO2 emissions for certain waste streams elsewhere. Geofluxus is developing this monitor for the City of Amsterdam and expects to have it ready by the end of next year, although the municipality is dependent on the availability of data. New partnerships are therefore necessary. But a first success is already visible: through the monitor is clear that 70% of the waste in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area is caused is used by only 7% of companies. A result worth continuing this work and something to hold on to!
Collaboration between governments and innovative companies
In order to innovate we have to work together; governments and innovative companies. That is not always easy. Various organizational cultures and interests collide. Everyone is in their own system and has its own pace. We had an open and honest discussion on this based on two cases. One of the companies started with some positive feedback: the region is at the forefront of circularity, there is a lot of attention and ambition. But collaborating is different. The company experiences a lot of reluctance, especially from governments. There is little willingness to take
responsibility and work outside existing frameworks. In addition, there is an enormous fragmentation of tasks and a fear of explicitly saying yes or no. For the other company this story is recognizable. They experience a lot of enthusiasm about their company, but still it takes a huge amount of time to involve different departments and decision making is very slow. They noted it is time to get out of the pilot sphere and important to mention business models early on.
There was a lot of understanding and recognition from the government side. They recognized the stories about the silos and indicated that it takes a lot of people and time to make decisions. Governments are less likely to think outside the box and both parties must invest in building trust. The advice that came out for both parties: embrace complexity, be persistent, be open to each other, be clear about expectations, go where the energy flows. And as a positive conclusion: once collaboration is there, governments are nice, loyal and reliable partners.
Cenex The Netherlands is in the middle of the development of an intelligent Energy Management System (iEMS), based on three urban pilots in Nottingham (UK), Arnhem (NL) and Schwabisch Gmund (DE). The goal is to develop a transnational and generic iEMS. In these cities, the pilot elements are currently being put out to tender and connected to the iEMS. Cenex would like to know which mobility and energy initiatives could be suitable for integrating in this iEMS.
Sharing Energy in Almere Haven
The City of Almere joined Amsterdam Smart City as a partner and has many great initiatives to share with the network. In 2020 Almere started EARN-E to reduce the use of electricity and gas in people's homes. Next year, Wijkie will be launched: this combines the energy transition with social needs in a neighbourhood. The core is the sharing of energy with your neighbours in your neighbourhood. In order to set up Wijkie successfully, it is important to enter into dialogue with residents.
The Energy Transition Explained
The energy transition is "hot". Much has been reported in the media, but the reporting is not always easy to understand and sometimes even confusing. Knowledge is needed to critically follow the news about the energy transition. That is why Sanne de Boer wrote the book ‘De energietransitie uitgelegd’. The book provides all the basic knowledge needed to follow news and form informed opinions in discussions. Sanne is looking for suggestions for where to market her book to be able to transfer this knowledge.
Curtailment for solar panels
As an energy platform, Vandebron is an innovative player in the field of sustainable energy. They took us along in the story of solar panel curtailment: remotely on and off switching of energy. A well-known phenomenon in the energy world is that the electricity demand is reasonably stable, but due to the volatility of renewable energy there are significant peaks in the electricity supply every year. The result is that the energy grid becomes full due to the surplus of electricity. This creates problems for the grid operator, who is then forced to hand out a fine. In this case, this means a possible fine for Vandebron, who then has to pass it on again to the producer. Nobody is happy about that.
Curtailment could be a solution. Curtailment makes sure that a surplus can be avoided, when solar panels are switched off in time. The central question is: "How to do this effectively?" It is clear that some degree of curtailment is inevitable, but it is also important to determine whether the energy surplus can be reduced in another way. There is still a world to be won with out-of-the-box thinkers on board.
Energy from braking power
The engine of a train or tram is comparable to the dynamo of a bicycle. In addition to powering the train, the motor is also able to generate energy. This happens, for example, during braking. How can we return the energy that is generated to the grid? And what are the options to apply this in neighbourhood hubs? Arcadis told us that energy generated with the brake of a train, can provide an average household with energy for 2.5 weeks.
This offers a lot of opportunities. Braking energy can be deployed immediately in your own system, it can be stored and then deployed, it can be made available to other parties via neighbourhood hubs. And there is more. Suggestions at that popped up at the demoday: returning energy to grid operators, making a link with buses, ferries and taxis, supplying shops at the station, neighbourhood batteries. To get a step further, possible obstacles have to be overcome as well of course. Experts will work on technological challenges and the saving of a lot of energy in a short time among others. In January, Arcadis, the City of Amsterdam, AMS Institute and Alliander will continue working on this topic. Interested? Then contact us.
Getting fit and healthy again in 2021? Since the citywide lockdown, members of local sport-clubs have been forced outdoors. One of the most popular (outdoor) fitness areas on the Amsterdam waterfront has been the Marineterrein. In our latest project “Future Fitness Garden” we explore how smart lighting can remind us of safe distancing and capacity in public space during Corona.
Using algorithms we can anonymously detect proximity and density of people working out. For example if they come within 1,5 meters to one another the LED strips turn BLUE. If there are too many people occupying the area the LED will turn RED. This system gently reminds guests to respect each other’s space while sharing the future fitness garden.
Thanks to project partners Marineterrein Amsterdam. Compliments to AI genius Markus Pfundstein, Electrical Mechanical Wizard Werner Pfundstein
With Inclusive Algorithm, we would like to bring more inclusion and diversity in Artificial Intelligence revolution and business.
Our main objective is to generate more network and knowledge in the Artificial Intelligence field to better understand how artificial intelligence, algorithms and big data can be ethically developed for societal benefit by involving the marginalized groups (groups with migrant backgrounds & bi-culturals).
We just started this initiative and we are building alliances with people believing in our cause. Please feel welcome to reach out if you think we can add value to the work you do or vice versa.
Normally, people come home from work and charge their EV immediately. Current grid
systems can handle these new flows in power hardly. Smart Charging means that
you postpone EV charging to timeslots with lower demand. This stabilize the grid
and the EV owner can charge at lower, and even negative prices.
Edmij, together with Sensoria, developed a way to charge at realtime power prices per
quarter of an hour. At September 25th, they initially postpone charging and
starts charging at times with negative prices. Balancing the grid with smart
charging brings benefits to the EV owner and the grid operator: a win-win!
MozFest is a unique hybrid: part art, tech and society convening, part maker festival, and the premiere gathering for activists in diverse global movements fighting for a more humane digital world.
That’s why I’m excited to invite you and your community to participate in the first-ever virtual MozFest! There will also be a local taster event in Amsterdam.
Submit A Session Idea for MozFest This Year: mzl.la/proposals2021
We’re excited to use the programming that we’ve honed over a decade of festivals – participant-led sessions, immersive art exhibits, space for spontaneous conversations, inspiring Dialogues & Debates – to address current and global crises. Through our Call for Session Proposals (where you're invited to propose an interactive workshop to host at the festival), we’ll seek solutions together, through the lens of trustworthy artificial intelligence.
Anyone can submit a session – you don’t need any particular expertise, just a great project or idea and the desire to collaborate and learn from festival participants.
If you or someone you know is interested in leading a session at MozFest this year, you can submit your session idea here! The deadline is November 23.
Details and submission page: mzl.la/proposals2021
The City of Amsterdam, Helsingin kaupunki – Helsingfors stad – City of Helsinki, in collaboration with Saidot, launched the first Public AI Register. The Algorithm Register is an overview of the artificial intelligence systems and algorithms used by the Cities of Amsterdam and Helsinki. Through the register, you can get acquainted with the quick overviews of the city's algorithmic systems or examine their more detailed information based on your own interests.
If you're interested in learning more, here's something for you. The new white paper that was co-written by Linda van de Fliert, Pasi Rautio and Meeri Haataja. They really hope this will part some conversation and most importantly, help other government organisations address #transparency and take their first steps in implementing #AI #governance.
You can also give feedback and thus participate in building human-centered algorithms in Amsterdam. The register is still under development.
After two successful editions, the WeMakeThe.City festival is heading for 2025 as a biennale: the 750th anniversary of Amsterdam. This year the uncertain future of our city and metropolitan region was discussed in a 12-hour livecast marathon on the 21st of September. The WeMakeThe.City theme ‘Reset’ brings together genius thinking, imagination and creativity to formulate alternative perspectives for action. How are we going to do things differently in the coming years? How do we work together to make our metropolis fairer, more inclusive, more sustainable, more climate-resilient, safer, more successful and happier? After all, together we make the city of, for and by everyone!
During last spring's lockdown, it became even clearer how much we depend on the digital world. We meet, chat and date in front of the screen. A solution to combat the spread of Covid-19 is also being sought in the digital domain. These developments have raised the privacy issue again: how can people's data rights be protected? Such as anonymity, transparency and control over data. Time for a good conversation about values and the importance of digital civil rights.
The session kicks off with Marleen Stikker, director of Waag and Ger Baron, Chief Technology Officer of the City of Amsterdam. Marleen explains what our digital human rights are. ‘These are the same rights just as in the analogue world. Where there is relatively much attention for analogue human rights, our civil rights in the digital domain have run wild, too little attention has been paid to this. Let's reclaim those rights! It is for example about the right to be forgotten, the right to be anonymous, but most important to me is digital sovereignty. Everyone should have the possibility to have insights in their own actions online.’
Ger agrees with Marleen. According to him, governments, and cities as well, collects too many data about residents and the public space without even knowing what they want to do with these data.’ The reason to collect them should be to learn something specific that you can improve or help people. Helping people with the collection of data also brings in new dilemmas. The city used to have a collaboration with energy providers for example. Once someone didn’t pay for the energy service, they sent out a message to the city administration. The City could then prevent someone get evicted from his/her home.
This example is not enough reason for Marleen to collect the data: ‘To me, this sounds as if we didn’t invest in our society. We could have helped these people as well if they had adequate supervision or guidance. In last years, we invested heavily in the digital domain and we made budget cuts on home care, debt counselling and community police officers. Digital solutions are not always the best solutions! Especially not when all kinds of companies have data without people knowing about this.’ Ger: ‘To a certain point I agree with this point. Digital rights also include rights to know about the data that is collected, why this is and what you can do about this. This is currenty not transparant at all, even though the City of Amsterdam is becoming more and more about about his.
Marleen: ‘I see the City of Amsterdam going in the right direction, by starting for example the Coalition for Digital Rights. However, the steps in this direction go really slow, especially in politics. This way, it remains unclear what rules companies dealing with personal data should obey. That’s why Marleen also calls on politicians in The Hague: guarantee digital human rights by imposing conditions on the market.’
Next up is Miram Rasch, researcher and teacher at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and writer of the book ‘Friction. Ethics in times of dataism. Her book opens with a story about escaping the eyes of data collectors and algorithms. She states this is only possible at home. And even there, it becomes harder. ‘We have smart meters, smartphones, smart tvs. It is not clear why these devices need to collect data, with whom they share them. We don’t know now, but especially we don’t know in the future. Everybody has something to hide, because we don’t know yet what we should hide. Of course you have to inform yourself about the conditions you’re accepting. However, this is not easy at all. Try to read the Terms and Conditions of the services you use, the texts are too long and complicated. Unfortunately it can take a long before something changes. The few individuals who are conscious about the digital world, won’t change it. We need rules and regulations! But we know from the past, that maybe something heavy has to happen before people open their eyes.’
Jim Boevink, advisor Taskforce Digital Safety at the City of Amsterdam, starts an intermezzo about the right to be anonymous. Marleen Stikker: ‘People who want to abuse others, are free to hide themselves. This is because platforms are not responsible for the content their users post. They earn money with these users, they are their business models. But they they are not responsible for things happening on their platform. This is the first thing that has to change. The legal system is not in order. Make them responsible for the content on their platforms.’ M****arleen: ‘And good to emphasize: someone who is critical about the digital domain and the internet, is not necessarily against the digital world. We only have to make the internet safe and reliable!’
Want to watch the livecast (in Dutch) yourself? Check <https://dezwijger.nl/programma/reset-digital-rights>.
How can Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) and Blockchain contribute to a more transparent, sustainable and inclusive future?
As we launch the DLT4EU programme, we are having a panel discussion on the potential role and pitfalls of DLT in Europe. In the panel Indy Johar from Dark Matter Labs will join Piret Tõnurist, Innovation Lead at OECD - OCDE, and Ludovic Courcelas, Government Strategy Lead at ConsenSys. Together they will discuss how DLT and blockchain can encourage a more circular and democratic society.
Join us for this public online event on September 17th from 6pm CET.
More info on the DLT4EU programme: https://www.metabolic.nl/projects/dlt4eu/
One very exciting smart city initiative we’re working on is called ModelMe3D - a brand new city information modeling platform for future city makers. As a virtual white board, MM3D empowers designers and stakeholders to plan, collaborate & share. Since its entirely web based you can create your first project in seconds, and each scene comes with data rich 3D context of real city locations. Interested? Grab a sandwich and join us Friday 04 September @12:00 for a live demo here: https://bit.ly/MM3D_Webinar
In sustainability studies the 'rebound effect' explains why people use clean devices such as smart heating longer – it is economical and clean so leaving it on won't hurt. As a result, one could end up using the same amount of energy as with your old, inefficient heating. But also in 5G, the rebound effect is expected to occur – both in ways related to sustainability and 'smartness'. Should we throw ourselves enthusiastically into 5G, without thinking about how we use our internet connections in the future? A mini essay by Socrates Schouten (in Dutch).
In our daily lives, we became dependent on just a few tech companies, usually located in the USA or in China. Should we become independent and develop our own tech sector? Last Friday, the 19th of June 2020, the fifth edition of the Tech for Society series was launched in Pakhuis de Zwijger: a livestream series about the role of technology in a society that is currently under pressure of the Covid-19 crisis. The central theme of this edition: ‘the European Tech Sector’.
Why is it so important to have a tech sector ‘of our own’? Sander van der Waal, Future Internet Lab Lead of Waag explains the role of technology. He uses the metaphor of an iceberg. At the top, there is the technology people see in their daily lives. Phones, wifi, internet, they are there and work fine. Beneath this citizen perspective are a lot of layers we can’t see. There is a technology stack, in which you’ll find the infrastructure, the internet cables, GPS, datacenters, operating systems and more. Below the stack you find the development process, the choices companies made. After that is the foundation. This is the part with assumptions, values and peoples’ rights. The figure shows that technology is a lot more than we think. It has a lot of layers and what to put in the layers, makes sense.
Zooming in on the stack, you can define three variations. 1: a private stack, dominated by tech companies driving by profit and the people as consumers. 2. A state stack, closed tech, dominated by states and surveillance of citizens. 3. A public stack, putting European values into practice, make technology open, with a participating role for citizens. Sander doesn’t think it is necessary to develop a European tech sector. There would be risk we would develop a European private sector and one can doubt if that is really a step ahead. Maybe a little one because we won’t be dependent on US companies, but in this case people still don’t play an active role.
The big five
The biggest companies we are depending on, are called the big five. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft dominate the tech industry. Most of them collect our data and make them into a business model. According to Jochem de Groot, director Corporate Affairs, Microsoft does search for the societal debate about technology. They are talking about the public value of their technology. For example in AI, Microsoft calls for more rules and regulations. This way they also hope that it is easier for citizens to hold sovereignty. Microsoft also launched an open data campaign.
Sander: ‘Open data can be a step in the right direction. However, be careful with it. Data are often relatable to people. There is more open data available, but we have to be careful if we can find out to whom te data belong. Once leaked, data never go back. When it comes to tech, Europe is mostly known for the GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation. This is a standard and also important in the USA. More current technological developments put the citizen central. And also the developments of open source are getting bigger. Open source helps to decrease the dependency of individual companies.’
Paul Tang is member of the European Parliament for the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D). He just came back from a demonstration at the office of Facebook against personalized adds. In the European Parliament a majority says these personalized adds should be forbidden. Paul: ‘Someday this is should be a law, because the European Parliament has legislative power. Sometimes these decisions can take a long time, because of member states, lobby organizations and various interests. The good thing of this power, is the influence it has on Europe, but also on the rest of the world. However, sometimes I am shocked by all the work that still has to be done. We set up criteria for the usage of algorithms a while ago, but they are not yet put into practice. When it comes to the digital playing rules, we have a lot of work to do.’
Opportunities for Europe
If the lack of tech giants in Europe is an issue and we want to create a European tech sector as a solution to our dependency on American tech giants, are there developments going on that might be opportunities that might contribute to a European tech sector? ‘Quantumcomputing’, Jochem from Microsoft says. ‘Here we really have an opportunity to create an ecosystem and be unique. As Microsoft we would like the Dutch government to invest in this.’ According to Paul Tang, ‘the market for personalized data is fully dominated by the American giants. There are possibilities in the EU for non-personalized data. For example, in the Internet of Things. Bianca Wylie, open government advocate and Tech Reset Canada co-founder: ‘When I advise companies about their future, I always tell them to get away from behavioural data. Go for clean tech, robotics, infrastructure or health tech, but don’t make your business depend on the surveillance economy. Grow other sectors with an alternative vision.’
Bianca also spoke about the opportunities Covid-19 bring to the tech sector. ‘There is an opportunity but a threat as well’, she says. ‘We have to watch the emergency that is taking place now when it comes to procurement. Keep an eye on the democratic process. But this time is also an opportunity to get rid of the tech that is not successful but costs a lot. Check the existing infrastructure. Not working? Let it go! And value human capital. We need teachers, doctors, people who do contact tracing. Build tools that help them.’
Paul: ‘The personalized ads ask for the collection of more data. We have to ban this. I think that selling products is a different business model. It shows a clear relation between producer and consumer. The system in which the people give data, get free products with advertisements is vague and manipulative. Skip this business model and make space for new ones.’ Jochem (Microsoft) doesn’t want to comment on this, because this is mainly about his competitors. He does stress that is important to create space for a market in tech, there have to be possibilities to compete. The government has to set the framework. For example with GDPR. Values for AI could use such a framework as well.’
Data sovereignty is a long lasting wish of a lot of countries. GAIA-X could play a role in this. GAIA-X is an initiative by France and Germany to strengthen the digital sovereignty of Europe. It will make Europe less dependent on China and the USA. Sander is also critical: there is a risk of copying existing models. But we need a completely different data strategy, the system is no good.
About the steps we have to take, the three men agree: we need more influence of Europe, all from another angle. According to Paul, Europe has to win back soeverignty and call a halt to their development. Jochem wants European unity to become a powerful block that can set a framework. Sander: ‘Only with the cooperation in Europe we can build alternative data models’.
According to Amsterdam Smart City, the discussion of this evening is exactly the discussion that needs to take place. Collecting data is very useful to work on the challenges in our cities. But we have to be aware that these data are in the hands of the private sector. And that free usage comes with a price. Can we work on public values with the data? This asks for a collaboration between the public and
private sector, something we work on every day. Amsterdam Smart City always puts public value first: innovating together and transparent, using each other’s expertise, with the resident at the centre.
Do you want to watch the full episode? You can watch it here (in Dutch):
[##### Tech for Society #5: Waar is de Europese techsector?
Waarom zijn er geen Europese techreuzen meer?
Pakhuis de Zwijger](https://dezwijger.nl/programma/waar-is-de-europese-techsector)
Friday 5 June 2020, the fourth edition of the Tech for Society series was launched in Pakhuis de Zwijger: a livestream series about the role of technology in a society that is currently under pressure of the Covid-19 crisis. The central theme of this edition: ‘Dataism’, defined as the believe that the world can be captured in data and algorithms. This concept makes us question its practical possibilities and how we could understand the world around us using data. How should we?
Miriam Rasch, researcher and teacher, wrote the book ‘Frictie. Ethiek in tijden van dataisme’. The book talks about dataism, which Miriam describes as a belief that everything in the world can be captured with data. It is the idea that collecting data shows you certainties and predictions about the world and this way, directs people and the society as a whole . Miriam calls it a ‘religion’, since ‘dataism could exclude other views.' Data look objective and neutral. Believers of this concept, therefore, see it as a necessity to make decision-making processes data-driven.
Martijn de Waal, researcher in the Lectorate of Play & Civic Media of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, recognizes this dataism in the world. As a kind believer of dataism himself, Martijn looks at the concept as a way to organize information and shape the world around us. ‘However, the central role of collecting data now, as done by platforms such as Facebook or Amazon, is too big. It is pretended as if data are objective and truthful. But collecting data is done via platforms with all kinds of underlying values, that are not always visible.’
Which kinds of values? And are these public values? Can the data work for people?’
At the Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture in Shenzhen in China, Martijn attended the exhibition ‘Eyes of the City’, where he found three interpretations on the usage of data:
- Using data to map the lives of people and with the data, force them to live life according to rules and punish them if you do not oblige the rules. One of the main examples is face recognition in China.
- Luxurious capitalism. Collecting large amounts of data on citizens and use these to offer services. Even services people don’t know they need until they are offered to them. For example, offer a coffee to people on the streets at the moment you know they would like a cup of coffee due to the data that you collected about them. There is a downside for people working in the platform economy who have to be available, according to the data.
- In Shenzhen, companies got into contact with migrants living in a certain area. Together they collected data about bottlenecks in their lives. It helped people to show authorities they exist. The data collected are not objective, but it could be a starting point for discussion.
Policy based on data, data based on policy
In research, the usage of data is really important. Even more when policies are based on the data obtained during these studies. However, according to Caroline Nevejan, Chief Science Officer at the City of Amsterdam, you have to be transparent about the sources you used, data that are collected, and start a discussion about which statements could be seen as true or false. In a democracy everybody has to take a part in this process, which is of extreme importance in a world full of propaganda and fake news. In one of her researches, City Rhythm, she analyses the real world and the digital world and the interaction between these two. She addresses questions such as; can we trust data and can we use data for good? How can the digital world can become a part of the physical world? An example of this is, can people who like gardening can use the help of people who don't like gardening, but do like measuring and predicting growth of plants?
Arjan Widlak, director of the Kafka brigade, researches bureaucratic dysfunctioning: ‘Bureaucracy is a great asset, it ensures that all kinds of values materialize - such as legal certainty, integrity, but often this goes the wrong way. Some organizations do the opposite of what they should do. There is indifference without a much needed check.' The Kafka Brigade wants to come to manageable knowledge and people that care about bureaucracy. What kind of system are we creating when we digitalize the government? We are caught in a system of possibilities and impossibilities, where principles of responsible IT should be defined and carried out.
How do we make sure that these principles are put into practice?
Arjan: 'For example, when you drive too fast, you will be flashed. This is done automatically, as is the determination of the fine and the envelope that will be sent to you. It seems like there are no humans involved in the process. Although we might not all understand how this system works, we have a high trust in the way it functions. You have done something wrong and result is a fine. The confidence in the operation of the system is great because it functions without people and people are unreliable. But ultimately people are involved. There is a policy behind this process and people decide what is legal and what is not. Certainly, due to affairs and scandals, it is not certain whether the confidence in these techniques is still so big. So data are not objective. These are human creatures. You cannot take the people out, then you will lose ethics and the discussion about what is wrong or right.'
Constutional state and education
Caroline: ‘Data collecting functions in the constitutional state, in the city. Collect, acquire, return data has to be done according to certain laws. You can also go to court if this is done wrong. The European Rules for Data Protection (GDPR) are essential for the protection of personal data collected by companies. Companies now say, give us more rules because this works for us. We can do better business. So business runs better in a democracy’ .
Caroline continues: “Another aspect we have to look at is how data scientists are trained. What do they learn? It is staggering to see how data science education in university only has one course on responsible innovation. In collecting data we only talk about ethics, never about the rule of law. Business is always about social entrepreneurship, never about trade unions. In education, we create data scientists who have only one side of the knowledge, but get all the power. Because we did not teach the system designers how to think about democracy, power and the inequality of power.”
Martijn: ‘Yes, people in Silicon Valley work in a one-dimensional way. But this will change. There is more and more attention for ethics because students also ask for it. They want to contribute to society.’
Arjan: 'It is interesting how this also goes for the background of civil servants. This has a major influence on how the government functions. A long time ago, as a civil servant it was common practice to know something about constitutional law. You had to understand that values get meaning to each other.' Caroline: ‘Place this standards frame to the forefront again. Democracy and privacy by design. This makes it possible to discuss the interpretation of meaning.’
What can the current timeframe learn us?
Miriam: ‘We learned the value of not using tech all day. I hope we can remember it.’
Caroline: ‘Ask more questions every day. Even if you take something for granted.’
Arjan: ‘Yes, ask more questions. We can strive for privacy by design, but what does that mean? I plea for critical citizenship.’
Martijn: ‘This time showed us a revaluation for public space and values. Public space is suddenly used a lot more. What can that look like online?’
According to Amsterdam Smart City, the discussion of this evening is exactly the discussion that needs to take place. Collecting data is very useful to work on the challenges in our cities. But we have to be aware that these data are not neutral and we have to have a discussion about the issues and if the data are necessary to help solving the issues. Can we work on public values with the data? This asks for a collaboration between the public and private sector, something we work on every day. Amsterdam Smart City always puts public value first: innovating together and transparent, using each other’s expertise, with the resident at the centre.
Do you want to watch the full episode? You can watch it here (in Dutch):
[##### Tech for Society #4: Dataïsme: Is de wereld te vangen in data?
Wie heeft gelijk als de computer het fout heeft?
Pakhuis de Zwijger](https://dezwijger.nl/programma/dataisme-is-de-wereld-te-vangen-in-data%20%20%20)
Last Friday, the second edition of the Tech for Society series was launched in Pakhuis de Zwijger: the livestream series about the role of technology in a society that is under pressure of the corona crisis . With this time a special focus on the contact-tracing apps. What do you think: can an app save the world?
Last Friday, the second edition of the Tech for Society series was launched in Pakhuis de Zwijger: the livestream series about the role of technology in a society that is under pressure of the corona crisis. With this time a special focus on the contact-tracing apps. What do you think: can an app save the world?
Why is tracking, contact-research, of an infectious person so important in times of corona? Mariska Petrignani, infection control doctor at GGD (public health service), explains: “GGD’s most important work at the moment is finding out who’s been in contact with an infected person to prevent rapid spreading of the infection. We do this by relying on the memory of the infected person. But there are always contacts you can’t recall or don’t know by name, for instance people you saw in the supermarket or public transport. But the question we have to ask is: to what extent are these people at risk for exposure and on what level do they contribute to the transmission of the disease?" There’s a lot of scientific discussion surrounding this topic.
According to Mariska, GPS-tracking, which can be recorded via an app, can help but doesn’t cover all relevant information. Is there a wall between you and the person you are in contact with? That is the type of information you need to know as well.
Michiel Heidenrijk, director of the Amsterdam Health & Technology Institute, adds to the discussion: “Can an app save the world? There is not one silver bullet, you need a combination of different therapies/solutions. Technology and data can offer parts of the solution.”. Mariska adds: “A common problem is that people can’t recall exactly where they have been. Technology can help. There are many ways to support this and it doesn’t have to be a contact-tracking app. For instance you can use your phone as a digital agenda to log your movements. We should think about other smart, digital solutions.”. Michiel: “We should embrace technology, use data, but it should be used in a sufficient and reliable way.”.
Hannes Grassegger, tech-journalist based in Zurich, sketches the European perspective. After a two week testing period of a contact-tracing app in Zurich, the app will be launched mid-June in Swiss. It’s completely voluntary, but hosted by the federal government, which is highly trusted by the public.
But isn’t it time for a broader European strategy? Hannes explains that coming week E-health will publish guidelines for the European common strategy for contact-tracing apps, to align the European members. E-health does not see the app itself as a major tool to bring back the freedom of movement between the member states, but they try to develop a framework to avoid the app becoming an obstacle to reintegrating the freedom of movement within Europe. Hannes: “If we have different states within Europe using different apps, there is need to have a set of common ground rules.”.
Lotje Siffels, philosopher in technology, conducts research on the influence of big-tech companies in the healthcare sector. She wants to stipulate two important discussion points: i) Technology is often seen as THE solution to the whole problem, while the problem is a lot more complex. It almost seems like the exit strategy is entirely depending on the use of contract-tracing apps. While this is certainly not the case; ii) Privacy is broadly mentioned within the discussion, but there are so much more social values that have to be discussed as well. Think about autonomy or democratic values. As an example Lotje mentions the ‘zwaai-app’: “If you meet someone or accidentally bump into someone, you wave with your phone and the data of the other person is saved. This helps you log your movements while being conscious of the data that is stored. You give a level of autonomy back to the people, because they are the ones consciously keeping track of their own encounters.” Active participation can also be part of the solution.
Lotte Houwing, policy advisor at Bits of Freedom, is the last speaker of the evening and raises questions surrounding the necessity of such an app. Do we actually want this app? What exactly is the problem we need solved? What are the advantages and disadvantages? What is the impact on our society? She adds that these questions need to be answered first before we can assess if an app is indeed the right tool to implement.
The discussion of this evening is exactly the discussion that needs to take place. Amsterdam Smart City beliefs in technology as a means, never as a goal. Before thinking about contact-tracking apps, the right questions need to be raised and answered. Amsterdam Smart City always puts public value first: innovating together and openly, using each other’s expertise, with the resident at the centre.
Do you want to watch the full episode? You can watch it here (in Dutch): <https://dezwijger.nl/programma/kan-een-app-de-wereld-redden>
Calling for smart health companies with international ambitions! The internationalisation program ‘The Globaliser’, with a special focus on smart health companies (startups, scale-ups and SME’s), starts in the Amsterdam region in October. During this 10 week program, companies will work on their internationalisation strategy. The program, put together with experienced entrepreneurs, contains the most valuable lessons learned, individual coaching, expert views, interactive sessions and utilizes useful tools for market selection, building the Go-to-Market strategy and the international roadmap. Afterwards, participants will have a validated international roadmap, which gives focus and helps you to roll out your smart health solution internationally. Do you want to know more? Get in contact with Ellen van der Vossen, (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Daan Donkers (email@example.com), who are trade developers for Amsterdam Trade and Innovate.
For more information about the Globaliser, check out https://www.dutchbasecamp.org/globaliser!