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Würzburg Centre for Social Implications of Artificial Intelligence (SOCAI)

Subproject 3: Transnational (Policy Making) Impact

The technological developments that aim to bring about varying degrees of systemic decentralisation in governance could be considered to improve trans-jurisdictional collaboration at first glance. Nevertheless, such would not automatically negate the necessity for a certain degree of centralised control over registries or data storage within individual jurisdictions, nor does it allow for an abdication of responsibility for maintaining verifiable audit practices in general. In addition, the notion of territoriality, as the primary nexus of jurisdiction, has increasingly become a subject of redefinition given the cross border and distributed nature of networked technologies. In this context, the concept of the nation state as a central foundation of international law has increasingly received pressure.

Furthermore, when supranational laws are taken into account, such as the EU Digital Single Market (DSM) legal infrastructure, territoriality also plays a crucial role. For instance, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in its scope of application concerning the data of EU residents held by data controllers based outside the EU relies on this notion. Emerging community-based model infrastructures and digital platforms, however, could define an alternative approach to jurisdictional boundaries, whereby physical demarcation would be increasingly replaced by other decisive factors which could be of a particular economic or technical nature. As a result, public policy making and political discourse among stakeholders would inevitably start shifting the focus further away from national jurisdictional boundaries.

The pillar will examine the status quo and explore cross border policy initiatives under the light of emerging political dynamics and new transnational social norms, which have formed as a consequence of disruptive technologies that are redefining traditional conceptions. These studies shall take the form of policy and soft law recommendations.