Digital Citizenship: The Impact of New Technologies on the Future of Citizenship
Emerging technologies will fundamentally alter the institution of citizenship. The scale of this transformation is a puzzle, yet new technologies are already blurring the lines between physical and digital, local and global.
Law enforcement agencies employ Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, and big data to create “algorithmic citizenship”—a computer algorithm that uses digital activity to predict our “digital identity”; advances in the Human Genome Project open new ways to understand one’s ancestry and migration history—what has been called “genetic citizenship”; Blockchain technologies offer non-territorial forms of political membership, challenge the definition of the “state” as we know it, and set the grounds for new forms of political membership beyond the nation-state (e.g., Bitnation, E-Estonia); and although the granting of citizenship by Saudi Arabia to a female Robot, Sophia, was nothing but a marketing ploy to lure investors, there is a growing body of literature on “robot rights.”
Technological advances will change the way we think of communities and identities, membership and belonging, borders and boundaries. The Roundtable will discuss how technology can remodel the essence of citizenship (in all dimensions—rights, identity, status), bring about new citizenship regimes, and redefine the demos.
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