A Book for Future Politics
"It's really about the phase we're in at the moment, where robotization and artificial intelligence are big trends that create great new opportunities, but also great challenges", Åke Refsdal Moe says.
He works at the Norwegian Board of Technology, and visited Media City Bergen on Tuesday April 10, when ViSmedia launched the brand new book "Droner i sivilsamfunnet" (Drones in Civil Society). Refsdal Moe was one of the six authors who were present to share their perspectives on challenges related to drones in civil society.
Drone strategy for the future
Recently, the Norwegian government has developed a new drone strategy. The strategy contains five superior goals, and includes 25 initiatives for how Norwegian government can pave way for growth in the drone industry and increase the use of drones. The government will among other things work for implementing a set of rules that will guard needs connected to drone development and use in the best way possible.
Refsdal Moe started working with drones about eight years ago.
"Drone technology was the kind of technology that created both fascination and a lot of fear", he says.
Refsdal Moe believes it's a good development that Norwegian politicians now have taken a closer look into drone technology. He believes that drones create opportunities, but not just opportunities.
"To a large extent, politics are about planning for the future. We see a technological development that's difficult to plan, less predictable than previously because it moves faster. This creates challenges for politics."
Recently, the minister of transport and communications in Norway, Ketil Solvik-Olsen, talked about the new strategy to the webite Samferdsel & infrastruktur.
"We in Norway are in a unique position. The combination between lots of air space, good infrastructure and competence in Norwegian drone industry gives Norway a potential for becoming a pioneer in development and use of new drone technology", Solvik-Olsen said.
Controlling the road towards a better society
How can we as a society make sure we make the right decisions to head in the direction of the future we want, in this ever-changing technological environment? This is one of the questions Refsdal Moe poses at the book launch.
"It's talked a lot about how we to a larger degree can discuss and analyze the future to create the development we want as a society. To predict the future is difficult, but to discuss cross roads is very important in light of the development we see now."
This is why he believes the Norwegian drone strategy is important.
"We have to consider how our goals as a society can be used to develop businesses. We have to realize that all innovation is not good innovation, it can bring forth unknown consequences. Therefore, we believe a proactive approach is a good starting point. Because of this, we believe the drone strategy can become a pilot project for how we will relate to this kind of technology in the future."
He adds that while drones are in the air, drone pilots are standing firmly on the ground. And this is where we should also keep the discussion too.
"It's important to take the discussion about drones and their fields of use to the ground. Being for or against drone as a technology is very difficult."
An important approach for the future
However, there is still a lot of work to do. Refsdal Moe proposes using different scenarios for attempting to see which directions the development possibly can take.
"We have to be better at looking ahead, and address insecurities. We need to admit that the development could head in the wrong direction."
"We have to dare to be critical to the base of knowledge we have today, and also be willing to re-orient ourselves".
Refsdal Moe calls for more conversations about drones, like the one that took place at this book launch. He wants to involve more people in the discussions; both regular people and politicians.
"The timing of this book is great, because it's a kind of project where people from different fields sit down together and talk. This is a kind of approach I think will be very important in the future", Refsdal Moe says.
Watch the book launch in the video under. Most of it is in English: