Globalization & Law Network seminar with Simona Demková

How is the EU developing and implementing a human-centered approach to the regulation of digital technologies? On 30 January 2024, the Globalization & Law Network had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Simona Demková, Assistant Professor in EU law at Leiden University. During the seminar, Simona presented her project focused on the EU’s human-centered digital transformation and funded by the Leiden University Starting Grant. Valentina Golunova led the discussion.

The main focus of Simona’s research revolves around the conflict between two mindsets: the technological mindset centred on data and algorithms, and the legal mindset concerned with concepts like rights and obligations. To illustrate how the EU aims to reconcile these mindsets, Simona provided an overview of legislative initiatives in the digital sector, with particular emphasis on the AI Act. She stressed that a human-centred vision of digitalization should not be equated to a purely rights-based approach. Instead, Simona emphasized the core principles of creating and operating trustworthy AI tools, which are firmly rooted in EU constitutional law. In examining how human-centred digitalization is operationalized in the EU, Simona highlighted the significance of obligations for providers and deployers of high-risk AI systems, fundamental rights impact assessments, and transparency requirements. At the same time, she also pointed out remaining gaps, such as exceptions for law enforcement and limited redress mechanisms.

Simona’s valuable insights set the stage for a rich discussion with the audience, who provided interesting perspectives on the role of fundamental rights and good administration in regulating digitalization and the tensions between various legal instruments dealing with cutting-edge technologies.

If you are interested in joining the upcoming seminars organized by the Globalization & Law Network, you can view the program and register here.

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