Anticipating new developments more effectively
The ongoing introduction of new technology applications like robots, autonomous vehicles, sharing platforms and Big Data is affecting society and the living environment. Technological development can be rapid and difficult to predict. We must examine the short- and longer-term impact of each new technology or application, and consider which public values are at stake. Rli’s advisory report ‘Assessing the Value of Technology’ presents a five-step analytical framework that allows stakeholders to anticipate the possible impact of technology applications more effectively.
Societal debate is key
Rli advocates a broad-based societal discussion about the choices to be made by government, the private sector and citizens. That debate is normative in nature because technology often raises new questions about the division of responsibilities, costs and returns, and can result in a realignment of values. Key questions include: Which values are at stake or may not be encroached upon? Which laws, regulations or contracts need to be amended, or kept in place unchanged? How does new technology affect the way people interact with each other? All these aspects influence how technology is developed and applied, the behaviour of the various actors, and how the markets will develop. To illustrate, the Council has examined three case studies: the milking robot, autonomous vehicles, and local generation of electricity using solar panels.
Experiments Act is desirable
The scope available for experimentation with specific technology applications is often created on an ad-hoc basis by amending the relevant regulations. The Council calls for a more generic legislative basis for these experiments. Such a uniform foundation would allow experiments to be conducted and evaluated more quickly and in a more systematic manner. This will create a favourable environment for technological development that takes into consideration the public values at stake and the interests of the parties involve