Online 2020/1 - In Focus: Tech Companies—The New Sovereigns

Online 2020/1 - In Focus: Tech Companies—The New Sovereigns

Antall-Horváth Veronika | Pál Zsombor Szabolcs | Baranyi Tamás Péter | Csepregi Zsolt | Pálmai Zsolt | Papp Viktória Anna | Schwarcz Emese | Talárovich Orsolya | 2030

The present issue of our magazine is related to the biggest annual conference of the main organiser, the Antall József Knowledge Centre, which provides a forum for various actors from Hungary, the broader region, and the global hubs of innovation, thereby also creating a bridge between them.

Technological advancements dictate such a pace that it is hard for humankind to keep up. What was new yesterday might be considered obsolete two weeks from its emergence. Providing answers to challenges of the environment, IT specialists and scientists create products and innovative solutions at such an accelerated pace that social sciences and legislation oftentimes cannot follow suit. Therefore, the digital divide is expanding between the younger and older generations and the different areas of social sciences. We can ask ourselves the following questions: Is the new necessarily good and safe?

Do we grant too much room for giant tech firms to access our private space? What tools are at the disposal of a modern “smart” state to answer these questions? What is the limit beyond which we are no longer willing to sacrifice our personal success for the sake of the general good and the public? Naturally, there are negative as well as positive aspects to every issue, thus, it is essential to find a balance between the pros and cons in order to be able to better grasp the changes taking place around us.

The purpose of this In Focus issue, as well as think.BDPST conference, is to find such a balance and present it to an interested and attuned audience.