Europe’s Futures Fellow 2023/24


Photo description
© Zsolt Marton
Queen's University Belfast
Discernment and Democracy: Protecting the Civic Role of the University in the Face of the AI Challenge

The institution of the University is fundamental to liberal democracy in two ways: providing the education of good citizens and the evidence for good policy-making. The substitution of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for human intelligence debilitates the quality of both education and evidence; in so doing, a new gateway to authoritarianism opens up. In this fellowship, Katy Hayward will explore what functions AI might be likely to fulfill in education and evidence-generation in universities and identify the risks therein. She will then use an interdisciplinary approach to explore how universities might equip citizens with the necessary capacity for discernment in defense of democracy.

Katy Hayward is professor of political sociology at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she is also co-director of the Centre for International Borders Research. She is a fellow of the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice and an Eisenhower Fellow. She has written numerous books, articles and policy reports, as well as comment pieces and explainers. She has spoken to media, policy, civic, and academic audiences worldwide as an expert on the impact of European integration and of Brexit on peace, democratic processes, governance, and cross-border cooperation in Ireland and the United Kingdom.