Eticas Consulting wins 3 European Commission’s projects

H2020 AI projects

Eticas Consulting has won three European projects under the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme related to the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the improvement of technologies used by first responders in emergencies. Between 2021 and 2024 Eticas will take part of these new research projects.

The firm will be a member of Pop AI, a 24-month Coordination and Support Action bringing together security practitioners, AI and social scientists, ethics and privacy researchers, as well as civil society organisations with the purpose of consolidating knowledge, exchanging experience and raising awareness in the EU area on the use of AI tools in the security domain. Eticas’ role will be to frame legal and ethical aspects and integrate them into the research development.

We will also be involved in CounteR, as Work Package leader in charge of data protection. The project aims to produce a privacy-first situational awareness platform for violent terrorism and crime prediction, counter-radicalisation and citizen protection. Eticas will establish the legal and ethical requirements and produce recommendations to ensure privacy by design within the new platform.

Last but not least, Eticas will integrate the TeamAware project consortium, addressing privacy requirements and assessing social impact assessment. TeamAware seeks to advance team awareness through Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality. The project aims to provide cost-efficient situational awareness system for first responders from different sectors with heterogeneous and hardly interoperable sensor units, including drone-mounted, wearable, and external sensor systems.

The projects’ expected duration varies from 24 to 36 months, with total funding of about 750.000 euros.

pop AI, A European Positive Sum Approach towards AI tools in support of Law Enforcement and safeguarding privacy and fundamental rights

The core vision of pop AI is to foster trust in AI for the security domain via increased awareness, ongoing social engagement, consolidating distinct spheres of knowledge (including theoretical & empirical knowledge by academics & non-academics). pop AI will bring together security practitioners, AI scientists, ethics and privacy researchers, civil society organisations, and social Sciences and humanities experts for 24 months under Eticas Consulting Coordination and Support Action.

The objective is consolidating their knowledge, exchanging experience, and raising awareness in the EU area. At the same time that they offer a unified European view across Law Enforcement Authorities (LEAs), and specialised knowledge outputs (recommendations, roadmaps, etc.), and create an ecosystem that will form the structural basis for a sustainable and inclusive European AI hub for Law Enforcement.

pop AI approaches the call requirements under a sustainable ecosystem perspective, aiming to create cross-disciplinary ecosystem AI-LEA ethics hubs. First, we aim to utilize existing knowledge, but also an extensive set of studies, to identify and record the direct and indirect stakeholders of the “security and AI” setting, as well as their respective points of view (concerns, perceived opportunities, challenges). This recording aims to further delve into the dynamic interactions of these stakeholders and ensure appropriate gender and diversity representation in the participatory processes. This way pop AI will tap into the rich knowledge of a wide range of experts to define appropriate interactions and material (e.g. talks, cross-disciplinary reports, workshops, online resources) that will allow co-creation within the ecosystem. Such interaction will empower a Positive Sum viewpoint when participating in innovation processes related to security and AI (from idea inception, to product development and application).

 

CounteR, Privacy-First Situational Awareness Platform for Violent Terrorism and Crime Prediction, Counter Radicalisation and Citizen Protection

The CounteR project will bring data from disperse sources into an analysis and early alert platform for data mining and prediction of critical areas (e.g. communities), aiming to be a frontline community policing tool and thus prevent future terrorist attacks.

With this initiative that has a duration of 36 months, the objective is to ensure the privacy of citizens and the protection of their personal data, an issue that has been of great concern to policymakers and LEAs alike. That will help balance the important work they do with the need to protect innocent individuals. The system will incorporate state of the art NLP technologies combined with expert knowledge into the psychology of radicalization processes to provide a complete solution for LEAs to understand the when, where and why of radicalization in the community to help combat propaganda, fundraising, recruitment and mobilization, networking, information sharing, planning/coordination, data manipulation and misinformation.

Information gained by the system will also allow LEAs and other community stakeholders to implement prevention programs and employ counternarratives rather than relying solely on surveillance. The CounteR solution will cover a wide range of information sources, both dynamic (e.g. social media) and offline (e.g. open data sources) and combined with world-renowned expertise in radicalization processes and their psychology. The CounteR solution will allow LEAs to take coordinated action in real-time while also preserving the privacy of citizens, as the system will target “hotspots” of radicalization rather than individuals. In addition, the CounteR solution will support information sharing between European LEAs and foster collaboration between diverse agencies by providing an open platform which prioritizes harmonized information formats.

TeamAware, Team Awareness Enhanced with Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality

This project of 36 months, helps first responders, being the groups of people, services and organisations whose duty is to arrive first to an emergency zone. The main objective of TeamAware Project is to develop an integrated and cost-efficient situational awareness system for these teams from different sectors with heterogeneous and hardly interoperable sensor units including drone mounted, wearable, and external sensor systems, existing first responder services, and operation centres.

While they perform search, save and rescue operations, and perform crisis management in natural or human-made disasters they often use inefficient, weak and obsolete technologies in the operations. That is why, with respect to the current situation and even though they have specialised skills and qualifications, the operational capabilities of the first responders can be dramatically boosted by the advances in technology and engineering fields. Among these technologies, we find smart sensor systems, wearables, data processing, data fusion, data analytics, communication infrastructure, and artificial intelligence tools.

In sum, the purpose of TeamAware is to enhance crisis management, flexibility and reaction capability of first responders of different sectors through real-time, fused, refined, filtered, and manageable information by using highly-standardized augmented reality and mobile human machine interfaces.

 

Horizon 2020 in brief

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU research and innovation programme ever launched. It takes great ideas from the lab to the market with the objective to lead to important breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts. With almost €80 billion of over 7 years, the programme has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament. They agreed that investment in research and innovation is essential for Europe’s future and so put it at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this by coupling research to innovation and focusing on three key areas: excellent science, industrial leadership and societal challenges. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science and technology that drives economic growth. Their innovations have improved lives, helped protect the environment and made European industry more sustainable and competitive.

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