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22 October 2020

Rathenau Manifesto: Set 10 design requirements for tomorrow's digital society now

responsible innovation Virtual reality Augmented reality voice technology
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With the breakthrough of "immersive" technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality and voice computers, the digital society is entering a new phase. The physical and digital worlds are becoming more interlinked than ever before, and this raises urgent social and political questions. In this manifesto, the Rathenau Instituut sets out ten design requirements for tomorrow's digital society. The requirements were drawn up on the basis of three research reports from the past year.

Our far-reaching immersion in digital technology blurs the boundary between people and computers, between physical and digital. Can we still distinguish fake from real? How do we deal with each other in the new digital world? Do we control the digital world, or are we controlled by the digital world? Various public values are at stake, including privacy, autonomy, honesty and health.

To launch a broad public and political debate, the Rathenau Instituut has ten demands for urgent action and dialogue from governments, businesses and citizens.

These demands are:

1. We want to remain in control of our digital body.
2. We want to be able to remain anonymous.
3. We want control over our virtual identity.
4. We want clarity on new digital property issues.
5.We want to live in an inclusive digital world.
6. We want to be able to know that something is fake.
7. We want protection against manipulation and persuasion.
8. We don’t want our health to be harmed.
9. We want a digital market with a fair balance of power.
10. We want public spaces to remain public.

The Rathenau Instituut has been researching Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and speech technology. With these 'immersive technologies' we immerse ourselves deeper than ever into the digital world. Virtual Reality transports us into a completely artificial world, in which all sounds and images are created by computers. Augmented Reality adds digital layers to our experience. Through speech technology we can talk to computers, and in more and more locations many devices, such as our smartphones and smart speakers, are listening in on us

Read the manifesto:

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