In the autumn of 2021, a lecture-course “Theories of Politics and Communication in the Information Age (GPC-312)” was organized by Dr. S. M. Amadae at the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Helsinki. The course examined critically the challenges posed by the digitalisation , artificial intelligence, algorithms, and modern technology to democracy and the possibility of public, rational communication. Public, discursive rationality was considered the primary way in which people can engage in democratic politics, learn to understand each other’s way of thinking, solve problems, control how the power is used by those in power, and find shared meanings on things that have public importance. The course examined the differences between discursive rationality and strategic or instrumental rationality in relation to the basic principles of democracy such as equality, justice, the rule of law and the ability of citizens to control the exercise of power. Digitalization and the logic of algorithms were observed as functions that often make the actualization of the basic principles of democracy difficult. The students attending the course analyzed these developments by doing their own researches in groups of five members. This publication presents research papers from five groups. They shed light on the challenges posed by digitalization and provide theoretical-practical tools for discussion.
Dr., Docent Sari Roman-Lagerspetz, editor of the publication
Amos Wallgren, Erik Räsänen, Anssi Kerttula, Maija Harju, Mari Sahlberg
Voting advice applications are among the most widely used digital applications in Finland as well as in other countries. They are also directly linked to power, politics and democracy as they assist people to use power and make political decisions. They are usually thought of as if they were completely politically neutral and thus able to give objective assistance in political matters. However, it can be asked whether they are politically neutral or not, and what kind of goals they further. This paper asks these questions and analyses the potential risks involved in outsourcing parts of pre-electoral, political decision-making process to voting advice applications.
Key words: Voting advice applications (VAAs), digital democracy, deliberative democracy, strategic rationality, communicative rationality, Habermas, Smart vote
Hanna Catani, Anna Lappalainen, Tiina Tennosmaa, Wilhelmiina Viinikka
Digitalisaatio on ihmisten luoma ilmiö ja se kantaa mukanaan ihmisille ja ihmisyhteisöille tyypillisiä piirteitä kuten seksismiä, rasismia, joidenkin ryhmien marginalisaatiota ja vähättelyä jne. Digitaalista vähäosaisuutta tuottaa esimerkiksi se, että syrjäytyneillä ja köyhillä ihmisillä on vähemmän mahdollisuuksia hankkia ja oppia käyttämään tehokkaita ja kalliita älylaitteita ja sovelluksia. Tekoäly operoi sukupuolittuneiden tietojärjestelmien ja datan kanssa muun muassa terveydenhuollossa. Lääketieteellinen tutkimus on jo pitkään
keskittynyt tutkimaan etenkin miehiä. Tällä on vakavia seurauksia naisten terveydelle, esimerkiksi sydäntautien kohdalla. Tekoälyn lääketieteelliset sovellukset käyttävät sitä tutkimusmateriaalia mitä ihminen tuottaa, mutta tästä ei seuraa, että tekoäly välttämättä saisi vaarantaa naisten terveyttä. Tekoälyn kautta voisi myös korjata niitä riskejä joita eettisesti ongelmallinen terveysdata aiheuttaa. Tämä tutkimuspaperi tarkastelee terveysteknologian, tekoälyn ja sukupuolen mutkikkaita suhteita.
Avainsanat: data, sukupuoli, terveydenhuolto
Weronika Krupa, Minna Parkkonen, Katja Stempel, Nazli Baglan, Veronica Kontopoulou
Strong authentication system via bank credentials has become an everyday method for citizens to identify themselves for the electronic services of banks, organizations, on-line stores etc. However, very little research has been done on the potential risks of these services. This paper seeks to help fill this research gap. It focuses on some central problems, asking, for example, how those people who cannot obtain bank credentials, or who must wait for long periods of time to obtain them, can cope with everyday life. How can non-EU/EEA-residents, coming to Finland for example as exchange-students, cope without proper IDs? Waiting to gain bank credentials can take very long. Another potential problem is that it is unclear how much banks can gather data for profiling purposes.
Keywords: strong authentication, bank credentials, digitisation, eIDAS, PSD2, TUPAS, Finnish Trust Network, inequality, discrimination, data privacy, digital footprint
Markku Haavisto, Tomi Kristeri, Miikka Pynnönen, Ilmari Reunamäki, Janne Suutarinen
This paper argues that a process of both technological and rhetorical detachment takes place in U.S.-China relations. These intertwined logics are part of the increasing competition between the two nations. One important aspect of this decoupling is the rhetoric used by the president Joe Biden. The authors of the paper argue that there are essential parallels between the Cold War and the present developments.
Keywords: US, China, decoupling, trade war, technological competition, great power politics, semiconductors, Cold War rhetoric, political communication, strategic communication
Julia Hallberg, Essi Kiiski, Min Young Lee, Kia Toivonen, Katariina Issakainen
Authorites are facing new challenges in the digital age, for example due to demonstrations by enviromental movements. One example of this is the international Elokapina-liike (Extinction Rebellion movement) and its demonstrations. Digitalisation and social media pose new layers of challenges for the authorities, for example when the police have to control public order in tense and even dangerous situations. At the same, the police ought to communicate safety, trustworthiness and peacefulness - and remember that people are taking video all the time. This paper examines the communication challenges that police faces when trying to maintain its public reliability.
Key words: Extinction Rebellion (XR), public security, police of Finland, police communication, the reputation of the police, social media, blog