The EPFL International Risk Governance Center (IRGC) is an interdisciplinary unit dedicated to extending knowledge about the increasingly complex, uncertain and ambiguous risks that affect society. We develop risk governance strategies that involve all key stakeholder groups, including citizens, governments, businesses and academia.
IRGC is conducting project work about ways to ensure that risks to environmental sustainability caused by emerging technologies are identified and addressed early in the design phase of technologies. A workshop report describes the concerns that new developments in chemicals, synthetic biology, digital technologies, carbon dioxide removal and space technologies risk aggravating environmental problems, and suggests possible response strategies.
IRGC’s key activities last year focused on low-carbon transition risks, technological climate interventions, evaluating and addressing the risk of collision with space debris, governing risks from digitalisation, nanotechnology, and working to ensure the environmental sustainability of emerging technologies.
Governance functions traditionally performed by humans are increasingly informed and sometimes automatically executed by machine learning algorithms (governance by machine learning) to benefit society. Therefore, it is necessary to think also about the governance, or regulation, of AI systems. Work conducted by IRGC for the EU TRIGGER project concluded with nine recommendations for the governance of AI systems in Europe, presented in this spotlight on risk article.
This policy brief offers a range of policy options and generic recommendations to improve the assessment, evaluation and management of collision risk. IRGC emphasises that action must be taken immediately, even though a more thorough risk assessment must still be completed.