As the digital realm weaves itself into the fabric of our societies, we are compelled to reflect on what this means for our democracies.

European Digital Deal is a three-year investigation co-funded by Creative Europe into how the accelerated, yet at times unconsidered adoption of new technologies – such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain and algorithmic processing – can alter or undermine democratic processes.

Through a myriad of programmes running from January 2023 to December 2025, we want to set up a new kind of public forum where cultural institutions, artists, researchers, educators gather to reflect on what a deal that safeguards democratic values in the digital realm might look like, and the role they can play in shaping it.

Waag's focus

In Digital Deal, Waag Futurelab questions the role of artificial intelligence in relation to working conditions in (greenhouse) horticulture. Until now, AI robots were thought to replace human labour. But could AI robots also be used in improving working conditions? Where the primary goal of technology is not to improve efficiency, but to contribute to other values such as well-being, safety and enjoyment?

Waag not only exposes current risks, but we also question the current architecture of innovation processes. For instance, we want to make a case for the long-term consequences for the environment and society. These must be taken into account when designing fair, ethical and sustainable technologies for the future.

Artist residencies: Imagining Robots

As part of Digital Deal, Waag invited two artists to the Imagining Robots residency: Penelope Cain and Špela Petrič. During their residency they will develop new imaginations of AI robots in greenhouse farming.

Project duration

1 Jan 2023 - 31 Dec 2025