Autonomous and intelligent systems in the digital world: Moving from principles to practice

11 Apr 2019 14:30h - 16:15h

Event report


The moderator, Ms Monique Morrow (The VETRI Foundation), asked for a brief introduction from each panellist and then introduced several questions to guide the discussion.

Replying to whether robots should have rights and what achievements the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) expects for the future, Mr Konstantinos Karachalios (Managing Director, IEEE), replied that we should first ensure that people have rights, then ensure that animals have rights, and then that the environment has rights, but not robots. Concerning the achievements of IEEE, he believes that there are no limits as to what the collective can achieve in the near future, as they have developed a strong and talented community.

Responding to the questions of how countries are guided and what activities the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) proposes regarding principles for artificial intelligence (AI) Ms Karine Perset (Internet Economist, OECD) explained how countries can participate in OECD initiatives. The organisation tries to adopt a multistakeholder approach to advance policies in AI as governments alone are not able to do so.

Ms Sasha Rubel (Programme Specialist, UNESCO) explained how AI impacts youth, and how this group impacts the production of AI. She highlighted the importance of age-appropriate design as a means of ensuring that young people have digital literacy skills and are not just consumers of AI but also producers of related innovations. For her, investing in research and development requires qualification of the next generation. She pointed out the importance of giving special attention to developing countries, such as countries on the African continent, as there are relevant innovations related to sustainable development coming from the region.

Ms Mei Lin Fung (Public Speaker, People Centered Internet) spoke about how software has changed the way people do things, specifically in the sense of customer relations. She believes many problems that existed in traditional software will increase with automation as it is harder to audit an algorithm. Regarding AI, she explained the dangers of exclusion through AI, and how it could impact people negatively and even result in a new form of digital colonialism.

Ms Victoria Wang (China Strategic Lead, IEEE) spoke about the security and privacy implications of AI, and the actions needed to be taken to address the challenges and opportunities in the field. She stated that security and privacy are mutually dependent; one guarantees the other. Wang talked about the use of data and AI to predict risks and harmful conduct. She noted that the same technology that can prevent malicious activities can be used for advertising, and therefore must be treated with caution and principles. She believes, however, that there are many opportunities.


By Pedro Vilela