July 25, 2021

"The line between legislating against misinformation and censorship is very thin" | Science

"The line between legislating against misinformation and censorship is very thin" | Science



"We have to create among all, politicians, technologists, journalists, etc., an ethical code to know how to act with technology, for example in the field of data exploitation." Three young women well aware of the challenges of the technological revolution explained their ideas, fears and solutions in the debate that was broadcast live from the writing of El Pais. The guests were Nagua Alba, a psychologist and deputy for Guipúzcoa (Podemos), who is the youngest member of the House; Clara Jiménez, journalist, founder of Maldita.es and one of the experts appointed by the European Commission in her plan to deal with misinformation and fake news; and Nerea Luis Mingueza, researcher in robotics and artificial intelligence at the Carlos III University, who was the one who pronounced the sentence with which the paragraph starts. The reason for the meeting was to know what has been the impact that this transformation has had on the youngest, a group that is more vulnerable but also more flexible and more able to adapt. Rocío Vidal, a scientific disseminator on YouTube, creator of the successful channel La Gata de Schrödinger, was also summoned. She could not arrive in time due to a transport problem.

"Politics is behind society when it comes to the use of technology," lamented Alba, "the reality is always on top of politicians." The deputy believes that this revolution is caught with the changed foot to the leaders, but warned about the risks that could involve legislative measures against misinformation, for example. "The line between legislating against misinformation and censorship is very thin," said Jiménez, aware that many governments may try to take advantage of this controversy to curtail freedom of expression and the press. Alba proposed that it would be more useful to train "to educate the critical spirit of citizens to discern what they are reading". In that sense, Luis insisted that "we must influence much more in technological training since childhood, giving them access to information."

The guests talked about the risks of social networks, in the spreading of hoaxes immediately and massively. "What worries the technological community most is the speed with which false sources are shared, because the denials will not spread as much," explained the specialist in robotics and artificial intelligence. In the same way, Jiménez recalled that there is already 36% of Spaniards already reported by WhatsApp: "Which means that we consume more information, but also more misinformation". And he warned: "Every time we get more misinformation about migration and is something that is happening across Europe: bulos, videos against migrants, that arise in Spain and that in two days are in Italy or Germany." However, all insisted that the networks have a positive side, as Jiménez and Alba recalled, by empowering women around the mobilizations of Women's Day or #MeToo.

"Politics is behind society when it comes to the use of technology, and reality is always cast on politicians," lamented Alba.

Faced with the labor problems and lack of employment that will arise with robotization and artificial intelligence, Nerea Luis said there will be "a tendency to replace robots with jobs dedicated to repetitive tasks, but what is in a more creative field will be harder to replace. " The political response to this challenge was provided by Nagua Alba: "It will be good if we have to work less, to dedicate ourselves to leisure or care, but the political question is if we abandon people who will not be able to work," the deputy said. defending the possibility of implementing basic rents.

This debate is the first event of a special, called The era of perplexity, with reports and interviews where experts anthropologists, philosophers, psychologists, economists and technologists will debate, from different perspectives, what awaits humanity before the technological changes that are underway, and also those that will come in the medium term and that we do not even expect.

This special will culminate on November 27 in Madrid a debate in which three of the world's leading experts will participate in the consequences of the evolution of technology and artificial intelligence. Continuing the debate generated by the book The era of perplexity, from Openmind, the speakers will discuss issues such as the future of democracy and work, analyzing the role of disruptive technologies in politics and the economy. The three speakers are Nuria Oliver, director of Research in Data Sciences at Vodafone, Luciano Floridi, director of the Digital Ethics Lab and professor of Philosophy and Information Ethics at the University of Oxford, and Jannis Kallinikos, professor of Information Systems in the Management Department of the London School of Economics.

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