Carmen Artigas, on artificial intelligence: “It’s great, but as long as it’s at the service of humans”

“Technology only makes sense if it leads to social welfare,” emphasizes Carme Artigas. A moral principle that may seem basic, but takes on particular urgency in the midst of the revolution that artificial intelligence (AI) is about to bring. “It’s a tool that can be used for both good and bad. We will not be able to prevent someone from being abused, but there must be retribution. There must be limits and they must be clear,” agreed Veronica Boloni, a computer scientist specializing in this technology.

They attended the Festival of Ideas and Culture organized by elDiario.es to talk about the challenges and opportunities of the latest advances in AI. Some dizzying developments have caused concern among citizens as well as many experts who did not expect such a rapid leap of this technology as it happened last year.

“It surprised a lot of us,” Bolon admitted. Because AI tools have been around for decades, ChatGPT and other so-called “generative” AIs have shown that “what we thought we were only good at is what creates,” Artigas recalls. . Create texts, create images, create videos, create books, create stories. Something radically different from analyzing large amounts of data and extracting patterns from it, which has been his main task until now.

This gave him “a lot of potential to be our assistant,” Bolon explained. “It can make your life so much easier, for me, to ask questions of my students, a nutritionist, to give them ideas about ingredients. It always requires supervision, but it’s a tool that helps you think,” he explained in a discussion moderated by journalist Maria Ramirez, deputy director of this media.

The problem that can arise from this situation is that it has become a technology that can sneak into everyone’s daily life, but the laws were not prepared for it. “If I don’t have a device in my home that hasn’t passed security checks, why would the public be able to use ChatGPT without some type of filter or control?” asked the expert. “I have seen cases where people ask for a diet to lose weight. We have to be careful about certain things, because without supervision we cannot put these tools in our hands for our health,” he notes.

This fact adds to its ability to change the labor market from top to bottom. “This will affect all sectors. We’re going to see a very high level of automation of most business processes in the next five years,” Artigas said. “It’s going to change a lot of professions.

These two issues mean that the regulation of this technology and its impact on society are currently at the center of debate. A debate in which Europe and Spain want to set the pace.

Technological humanism

This semester, the European Union is expected to approve its first general regulation on artificial intelligence. This will coincide with the Spanish turn of the rotating presidency of the Union. “This is not a legal standard. This is not an ethical standard. This is a moral standard. We tell the world what we want it to be acceptable or unacceptable for them to do with our data and artificial intelligence,” Artigas explained.

Spain has taken a relevant role in this regulation. It was proposed as a testbed for the regulation, a proposal accepted by the European Union and would develop “the world’s first agency to oversee artificial intelligence,” the secretary of state recalled. The organization will be located precisely in A Coruña (also the headquarters of this edition of the Festival of Ideas and Culture) and will be launched in less than three months.

“What we are defending, from our vision as the Spanish government, is to regulate it based on technological humanism, which is based on the fact that technology is very good, but as long as it serves people, not us. in the service of cars. “- reports Artigas.

Regulation, which will also be key for developers, Bollon recalled, to help them avoid biasing decisions made by artificial intelligence. “There has been bias in artificial intelligence for decades. Bias is in the data, data is generated by people, and people have biases,” the professor noted. “But we have to understand that the problem is that we as humans can have biases, but if those biases are transferred to artificial intelligence software, like the algorithms that the government uses to decide who gets welfare, which patients get priority, it’s if not a prisoner. Whether he intends to reoffend or not, these biases are not only entrenched, but reinforced. “It’s a very big problem.”

For all these reasons, AI suggests a transition to a more automated world. The message from the two experts was that this transition “will not happen overnight, but we will have the opportunity to shape the world that we want to happen,” Artigas said: “We must take advantage of it. The transition to reduce the gaps. This is the responsibility of our generation.”

Source: El Diario

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