The second Taftie Expert Session under SIEA Presidency took place during on the last Thursday in April 2021. The main topic was the question of whether artificial intelligence and robotics will win over humanity?
The event was opened by Artur Bobovnický, Director of Innovation and Executive Secretary of Taftie. He asked several interesting questions from the very beginning: What happens if new information that is constantly absorbed by machine learning technology changes the way how they work and make decisions? How the company should think about it and evaluate the potential risks in this regard? What should be their strategy for introducing new algorithms and updating them ? What decisions should governments make for the support of companies, and at the same time the European Commission has announced the introduction of the first artificial intelligence regulations.
The keynote speaker at the event was Azeem Azhar, a successful analyst, award-winning entrepreneur, strategist, investor and producer of Exponential View.
Azeem’s main premise was that we all live in an exponential age. In his speech, he explained which role played digitalization, artificial intelligence and technology in the development of Moderna’s Sars-Cov2 vaccine. Instead of the predicted 13 years of vaccine development, we were able to develop an effective vaccine within a few months of collecting and evaluating data. This was also due to the fact that the course of vaccine development was not linear but exponential. The prerequisite for success was guaranteed by the correct collection, evaluation and testing of data using machine learning and artificial intelligence. The exponential age is based on 4 key technology platforms – biology, energy from renewable sources, material created by 3D printers from reliable data and a computer that connects everything. The main point in the exponential age is the general goal that technologies, under certain rules, interconnect the acquired data, which is their key input.
The key technology in this new exponential age, is machine intelligence and a major disruption between what we try to do with artificial intelligence and machine learning and what we have done with the computer in the past. The power of technology is constantly growing. The difference compared to the use of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and robotics since 2012 and in 2019 is more than 300,000 thousand times greater. Its use also creates new challenges and questions about the impact this will have on humanity, for example in the labour market. When evaluating the most robotic companies such as JD, Ocado and Amazon, we can confirm that by introducing new technologies into companies, companies are also hiring new employees. So, it is not true that humans lose their jobs due to robots. However, if we focus on the question of where the balance is between humanity and the use of technology, the answer to this question must be provided by experts and politicians.
The event continued with a discussion panel moderated by Lucia Yar from the portal Euractiv.sk. The discussants were professor František Duchoň, Director of the National Robotics Center, Olga Afanasjeva, COO at GoodAI and advisor at Keen Software House, Mr. Arunas Mark, AI BOOST Lithuania Project Lead for policy and private sector, FintechLT Project Manager, Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA), and Mr. Ondřej Ferdus, Director of the Digital Economy & Technology Unit, Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic & Co-founder of the AI check.
All participants in the panel discussion agreed that data is a key element in the development of artificial intelligence and in the use of technology. So-called “good data”, their collection and evaluation, which can be used to create new algorithms. Currently, the biggest challenge is to create an artificial intelligence that will be able to handle several different uses, for example, will be able to play chess, but will also be able to transcribe oral expression into written form. The creation of a unified general artificial learning intelligence is also the main goal of GoodAI, which, however, invites to the cooperation. Cooperation between research teams, national governments and the EU is key to moving forward in technology development. Public funding is also important, which is not currently aimed at the development of artificial intelligence. The forthcoming EU regulations do not currently jeopardize further research and development of new technologies and may even help them in some ways. Participants agreed that the pandemic provided an opportunity for many start-ups and that innovation will be key to rebuilding the world economy. In the future, we can expect great use of robots and robotics in all areas of our lives and artificial intelligence in many new products and services, but also, for example, in education. The standard of living of mankind has never been better, and we hope that we will be able to repeat this same statement in the next 20 years. As for artificial intelligence and robotics as a threat, it is more about who uses it, who decides how new technologies and applications are used. Artificial intelligence is a powerful tool and can lead to threats in the wrong hands, but it is a question of politicians how to regulate its use.
The event was illustrated by a young Slovak artist Silvia Matisová and you can see the result here:
The record of the Expert Session can find here: