The Challenges of a (non-)Digital Public Administration

The paper aims at analysing the main challenges in the process of digitalisation of the public administration. After a brief overview of the main weaknesses of the current system, the author focuses on the reforms and investments envisaged under the national recovery and resilience plan, and on their status of implementation. The approach is mainly practical: some concrete cases will be presented to outline how Italy is trying to resolve the abovementioned challenges. The paper will also take into account the necessity to provide a “digital education” to public employees.

Automated Administrative Decision and Protection of Subjective Positions: Procedure and Process

Starting from the case-law and once the scope of applicability of the algorithmic administrative decision has been defined, the authors analyse, on the basis of constitutional and European principles, two issues:
1. the implications of using algorithms on the legal qualification of procedural interests, also in view of the different margins of choice that the Public Administration reveals in the proceedings and the impact of the technique on the administrative decision;
2. the adequacy of the protection against the algorithmic decision before the administrative judge on the basis of the peculiarities of the Italian administrative justice system.

Towards Cultural Digital: Tools, Limits and Opportunities

Digital technology brought a paradigm shift in the conformation of the cultural asset and opened up new possibilities for enjoying culture. The national recovery and resilience plan emphasised the potential of this approach, by identifying the creation of a cultural digital heritage as one of the key goals of public policies. Yet, this objective seems to be too ambitious considering the tools available. On the one hand, the Italian legislation on cultural heritage still remains firmly grounded in a material concept of cultural asset and to proprietary regimes; on the other, accessing to internet networks, as main mechanism of enjoying certain fundamental rights and freedoms, does not appear to be guaranteed by uniformity. In this scenario, the authors aims at identifying challenges, opportunities, and limits of digital culture as a tool to address social inequalities.

The Automated State and the Human Judge

Artificial intelligence (AI) is radically revolutionising our society. The shift to digital capital, by holding big data for governmental aims in Foucauldian terms, is realised with the rise of the algorithmic society. Weberian bureaucracy and Simon’s rationality are a thing of the past, replaced by the efficiency of machine learning.
Behind the complexity of black box lies a new age of Orwellian surveillance by states and privates owning AI technologies.While the lack of transparency breaks down any form of protection in a constitutional order, the Bentham’s panopticon is realised in all its power and violence.In such a legal realm rights are potentially threatened by a new capital of data.
In this scenario, the protection of persons remains the sole safeguard against the supremacy of the automated state, and the judge plays a decisive role in reviewing this new form of governmental power.
But what happens, as the ultimate frontier of AI, does the human judge become automated as well?