Edifici Vértex. Campus Nord UPF – 23 of February
The Internet is transforming the way we live, work and interact with each other. It is creating unlimited opportunities to access information and entertainment, interact and help us in our business and everyday lives.
Before starting the dialogue entitled “The New Internet Generation: The Centralisation of Personal Data”, Rob Van Kranenburg, the founder of The Internet of Things Council and a member of the Smartcitiesworld Advisory Council, held a brief lecture entitled “The New Internet Generation: A Smart Europe for Everyone” at the Edifici Vèrtex.
The connected society also poses new concerns and debates on issues like the possession of personal data, privacy and confidentiality, the digital identity and transparency.
The next Internet generation should address all these challenges by empowering citizens. In its services and operation, it should reflect European values with respect to the digital society and economy: open, data-based, human-centred and more interoperable.
The last talk in the morning session of the second edition of Mobile Week Barcelona revolved around dealing with the new information age in which sound data management will be essential in ensuring a good future.
Francesca Bria, the technology and digital innovation commissioner of the Barcelona City Council got the dialogue off to a start by making an appeal to thinking about a cybernetic pragmatism and technological sovereignty. As the new technologies move forward, society and economic power are being reconstructed. Given these new advances and changes, it seems clear that we should not have the same digital policies as before, which is why it is vital to focus on these new policies to ensure users’ digital sovereignty.
Europe has to create its own model of policies; it cannot use the same ones as the United States because we are not facing the same model. Nor can it use the same model as China because we are incapable of building its same infrastructure and social status. In order to ensure that users are the ones that control their information, digital rights must be created, a new democracy which does not belong to a company or politicians.
Given this need to create digital rights for everyone, Daniele Quercia noted the need to properly use technology and data. The creator of Social Dynamics stressed the importance of properly using the tools that already exist. Television, for example, can be used to create and to have new dynamics, or it can also be used in a counterproductive way for users. The same holds true of the Internet, the new tools that appear and data. In one of the projects that Daniele is carrying out, ‘Happy Maps’, through the data that volunteers offer online a map of London was created with human experiences; a map of shared, personal memories that indicate not only the quickest routes or the routes with the least traffic but also the most pleasant routes, with scents and sounds.
The director of the i2CAT Foundation, Josep Paradells, shed light on the situation. “Information is going to be decentralised. What we have to do is analyse the graph of the situation and take advantage of one of the basic elements, like blockchain, which help generate trust”. He also used the lecture to focus on the role of private companies and public universities. All large private companies have their own research centres, and what both players end up doing is playing very different roles. Back when the Web was created, scholars suggested creating a law against the world of telecommunications since they thought that a private company should not own the entire communication network. This means that the value of a network is equal to the value of its users.
The lecture by Rob Van Kranenburg closed the debate by trying to visualise how decentralised systems could coexist with the European Union’s plans. Van Kranenburg sought to focus on the state of the situation: territories cannot be treated the way they used to be, since there are no longer any borders in Europe. The concept of political control over the land is gone, and we have to be capable of understanding how the new borders and transactions work. Taxes, fees and the decentralisation of power should be prepared for 2020, a key date in attaining this new digital age.
Cecilio Angulo, director of IDEAI, the Research Centre in Science of Data and Artificial Intelligence of the UPC, coordinated the different workshops held in the district during the course of the week. Using the dynamic of Design Thinking, the participants in the “Think and Design Your Own Robot” workshop, held at the Barraca Civic Centre Tecnologies Creatives in conjunction with the Ateneu de Fabricació, learned about the versatility and countless uses of robotic technology today.
Another workshop that introduced participants into the field of robotics was entitled “Controlling Robots from Your Mobile Phone”, which was held at the Centre Obert Les Corts. Once the robots were built, the apprentices managed to direct, control and move the robot using their smartphones.
The programming was rounded out with the seminar entitled “Artificial intelligence and Robotics” held at the CC Pere Quart, and the “Robotic Workshops” held at the UPC in conjunction with the Institute of Robotics and Industrial Computing. Plus, all the workshops in the District of Les Corts were held in conjunction with the Barcelona City Council.
Cecilio Angulo also taught the workshop entitled “Challenges from Another World” held at the Biblioteca Montserrat Abelló in conjunction with Bibliotecas de Barcelona, in which children learned how to build and programme a robot. Once it was built, they used it to investigate how to solve the different challenges posed, such as the exploration of uninhabited planets.
Les Corts also played a prominent role in the activities for mWeekGallery. Anyone who wanted to could participate in the guided tours prepared to visit the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and see the Mare Nostrum supercomputer.
Mobile Week Barcelona enjoys the cooperation and support of different entities and institutions to expand its activity programme, spread its impact and encourage the stakeholders in the city to participate more. Thanks to the participation of Everis and the social initiative CLOQQ, Les Corts hosted the interactive activity “Everyday Future with Mbot” at the Barcelona Everis Living Lab.