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Will Democracy Survive Big Data and Artificial Intelligence?


We are in the middle of a technological upheaval that will transform the way society is organized. We must make the right decisions now.

Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance from another.

—Immanuel Kant, “What is Enlightenment?” (1784)


  • Intelligent Beings
  • Automatic Control Strategy
  • Cybernetic Loop
  • Applicable Data Protection Law
  • Collective Intelligence

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This article by Dirk Helbing, Bruno S. Frey, Gerd Gigerenzer, Ernst Hafen, Michael Hagner, Yvonne Hofstetter, Jeroen van den Hoven, Roberto V. Zicari, Andrej Zwitter was first published in Scientific American on February 25, 2017 under the URL The original German version appeared first in 2015 in Spektrum der Wissenschaft as “DigitalManifest” under the title “Digitale Demokratie statt Datendiktatur”. It is accessible via the URL

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Helbing, D. et al. (2019). Will Democracy Survive Big Data and Artificial Intelligence?. In: Helbing, D. (eds) Towards Digital Enlightenment. Springer, Cham.

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