June 21, 2021

Spain wants to lead the ethical development of artificial intelligence research | Science

Spain wants to lead the ethical development of artificial intelligence research | Science

The Minister of Science, Pedro Duque, with the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, today in Granada. In video, Sánchez's statements.

Artificial intelligence, like human intelligence, he also runs the risk of being nourished fake news. In the case of algorithms, it is the biased data that distort their decisions. If the algorithm is fed with data that does not represent reality in all its variants, the result is somewhat negligent. It is not given, therefore, with the best possible decision. Yes, probably with the most interesting one for a specific company or institution. And this bad nutrition of artificial intelligence (AI) already occurs in some sectors, according to specialists, with the consequent bad digestion later. In United States, AI with biased data has already been detected in the prison and insurance sectors, they say. To avoid that, artificial intelligence needs ethical parameters that limit the bias in the data. Spain is preparing to lead this field, that of the "ethical artificial intelligence", as the president of the government, Pedro Sánchez, explained today in the presentation of the Spanish R & D & I strategy in artificial intelligence.

Sanchez has presented in Granada the Spanish strategy in research and AI, remembering that there is no turning back in the existence of two intelligences, "the human and the artificial" and that, without a doubt, the massive analysis of data "can", and there are the ethical concerns if it is not done well, "allow improvements" in many areas. It is the case of health where, he said, not only "we can have better diagnoses, but better health costs." Pedro Sánchez has been in Granada accompanied by the Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities, Pedro Duque.

"Universal ethics"

The reference to ethics has been a constant in the presentation of the strategy. The doctor of the University of Barcelona and specialist in the subject, Itziar Lecuona, has participated in the presentation and has remembered that the ethical discussion is fundamental in this field and that not everyone is in the same place. "We need to define what research we want." Lecuona has acknowledged that Europe and the United States have different versions of what is a "universal ethics" and has corroborated, "the most protective approach to human rights that exists in Europe, which may lead us to believe that everything is slowing down here. In any case, we are in a magnificent moment to demand the control of our data and automated decision-making ". The search for that ethical artificial intelligence goes beyond the purely scientific or industrial scope. They will require, said the president, "not only scientists or entrepreneurs, but also writers, philosophers and professionals from all branches of culture."

The project made public this Monday is only the first step of a global strategy in Artificial Intelligence that is being planned and that the next government will have to present. In a few months it will be announced that National Strategy for AI that, beyond R & D & I, will take into account how this new form of decision-making and analysis affects society, in areas such as the labor market, the educational model, the legislation in force and the new relationship between citizens with the services and systems that the IA helps to develop and that both the public administration and the private sector will adopt with total security.

At a discussion table prior to the interventions of Sanchez and Duque, IA specialists have shown that Spain is late in the investigation. Among other factors, they have warned, because many Spanish companies prefer to bet on technology from other countries than to develop their own. The positive view is that the delay is not so great as to permanently lose that train. If Spain decides to focus, not go for everything, but choose to specialize in specific techniques and bet on it, you can lead fields in this sector.

In this sense, the strategy presented today marks priorities and recommendations. Among the priorities, the government is committed to achieving an organizational structure that allows the development of an R & D & I system in Artificial Intelligence with the possibility of measuring the impact of its activities as well as establishing strategic areas in which it is necessary to focus the efforts of the R + D + I activities. It also aims to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and its return to society, plan training and professionalization actions in this field and, finally, analyze the ethics of AI from the perspective of R & D & I.

As for the recommendations, the plan considers strategic for the future to launch a national strategy for AI that allows the development and implementation of specific measures directed to the national strategic sectors and, among others, to launch or adapt the programs of vocations promotion, beyond research in general, specifically aimed at AI.


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