Digital Rights Summer School: Where Is AI Leading Us

The second Digital Rights Summer School was held from July 23rd to 29th in Perast, Montenegro, with more than 50 participants and lecturers coming together to exchange and acquire knowledge about current issues at the intersection of society, technology, and human rights. The Digital Rights Summer School is organised by the SHARE Foundation in cooperation with the European Digital Rights (EDRi) and the Digital Freedom Fund (DFF).

The central theme of the School was artificial intelligence, considering the significant societal challenges in the context of using biometric surveillance in public spaces, border control and migration, or manipulative generated content. Participants also had the opportunity to learn more about practical aspects of researching phenomena such as networks for sharing intimate content and propaganda internet campaigns.

Some of the significant questions raised during the discussions included the environmental sustainability of digital infrastructure, which is expected to have an even greater demand due to the expansion of artificial intelligence. Additionally, the use of advanced software (such as Pegasus) for spying on journalists’ phones was discussed, along with maintaining a balance between freedom of expression and privacy in light of current and future regulations. Set at the site of the Old Austrian Prison in Kotor, an expert panel explored the perspectives of digital and European integration policies in the Western Balkans.

During the course of the School, an exhibition titled “Imagine Boka” by Andrija Kovač was opened in Perast. Blurring the lines between fact and fiction, this exhibition presents an intriguing collection of AI-generated photographs that explore an imaginable, alternative history of Boka Kotorska in the 1970s and 1980s – its people, places, customs, and traditions.

Many thanks to all participants, lecturers, and guests for the exciting week we spent together. We invite everyone to follow our website and social media channels and sign up next year!

We owe our gratitude for the support of the Summer School to the Gieskes-Strijbis Fonds, the Open Society Foundations Western Balkans. The Summer School was also supported by a core grant from the regional project SMART Balkans – Civil Society for a Connected Western Balkans, implemented by the Center for Civil Society Promotion (CPCD) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) in North Macedonia, and the Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) in Albania, financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway.

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