artificial Intelligence To enHAnce Civic pArticipation

ITHACA project aims to better understand the complexities and controversies for applying AI into the field of civic participation and stimulate new and responsible practices of research and innovation that anchor AI technologies design in human rights, values and principles, and moral and ethical reflection.

The project vision is to contribute to the maximisation of the possible positive impact of AI on the functioning of democratic institutions and processes by developing and testing of a human centric Artificially Intelligent and Ethics by Design online discussion platform for civic participation in local governance, which incorporates human and social interpretations into the design process to ensure that AI decision-making processes are explainable, transparent and fair.

ITHACA will pay particular attention to the needs and voices of citizens from vulnerable groups, with a view to ensuring that human rights impacts stemming from the design, development and ongoing deployment of algorithmic systems are comprehensively monitored, debated and addressed.

Through its pilot activities in two different EU countries, ITHACA plans to assess the ability of AI to enhance citizens participation in the local governance while preventing or minimizing possible adverse effects stemming from unregulated use of AI and empowering citizens with knowledge about the AI model involved. ITHACA will also provide scalable tools for the identification of security risks and threats and for conformity with the Fairness principle and Privacy principle in AI-based systems and big data for civic engagement applications.

Based on its implementation experiences, the project will define a data governance framework with relevant ethical principles and practices to be implemented in the design, development, deployment process for AI civic engagement platforms as well as policy recommendations on philosophical, legal and ethical values that should be embedded in the development of such platforms.