International Conference on opportunities and risks of generative artificial intelligence

This year's conference of the European Parliamentary Technology Assessment (EPTA) network in Barcelona on 9 October focused on the challenges that generative AI poses for policy makers, civil society and regulators. Scientists and parliamentarians from across Europe and beyond took part in this unique forum for parliamentary technology assessment.

Plakat zur EPTA-Konferenz 2023: Generative Artificial Intelligence – Opportunities, Risks, and Policy Challenges (A time for technology assessment to parliaments) Monday, 9th of October , Barcelona, capcit, catalan parlament
Plakat zur EPTA-Konferenz 2023
ta-rapporteurs-audience-epta2023 Parlament de Catalunya, 9/10/23
View of the conference room in the Catalan Parliament - on the left the TA rapporteurs from the Bundestag
ai-and-education-epta2023 Parlament de Catalunya, 9/10/23
Panel of the session on generative AI and education (from left to right: Carles Sierra, Steffen Albrecht, Enkelejda Kasneci)

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) models such as ChatGPT have become extremely popular in just a few months, making it the fastest growing online application in history. They are seen as transformative, with profound implications for democracies and civil society. Is generative AI a promise or a threat to democracies, or even to human existence?

The EPTA conference, held at the Catalan Parliament in Barcelona, explored the social and legal challenges that generative AI poses to policymakers, civil society and regulators.

What regulatory framework is needed to realise the benefits of generative AI while addressing the social and democratic challenges? What are the potential benefits, challenges and ethical considerations associated with the application of generative AI in key areas such as health or education? Will generative AI lead to the displacement of workers, or will new sectors of the economy emerge based on generative AI that will require large numbers of workers? Is the impact of generative AI on the labour market even foreseeable?

To answer these questions, the EPTA conference focused on the following four main topics in lectures and panel discussions with international researchers and experts from the field:

  • Generative AI and democracy
  • Generative AI and health
  • Generative AI and education
  • Generative AI and work

The opening keynote was delivered by Gary Marcus, Professor Emeritus at New York University and internationally renowned thought leader - and critic - of AI research. This year's EPTA conference is hosted by the Parliament of Catalonia and its TA body, the Parliamentary Advisory Council on Science and Technology (CAPCIT). The German delegation was represented by Kai Gehring, Chairman of the Committee for Education, Research and Technology Assessment of the German Bundestag, and TA rapporteurs of the parliamentary groups. From TAB, Steffen Albrecht, moderated the session on AI and education.

In-the run-up to the EPTA conference, the EPTA report 2023: Generative Artificial Intelligence – Opportunities, Risks, and Policy Challenges (PDF) has been released. The new report is the result of the collaborative efforts of the European Parliamentary Technology Assessment (EPTA) network, on the initiative of CAPCIT as part of this year's EPTA presidency of Catalonia. This collective endeavor brings together the expertise, alternatives, and perspectives of different parliaments in a multi-level governance scheme. This report underscores the significance of collaboration in tackling complex global issues and, at the same time, serves as a roadmap for policymakers and the public in general to navigate the AI frontier responsibly. Together, we are shaping the future of AI by championing ethical AI principles, promoting transparency, and guiding the development of AI technologies that benefit society as a whole. 

Note: The next EPTA conference will be held in Oslo in autumn 2024.


Downloads and further information