Artificial intelligence: Another bubble or a game changer?

Last week (1 February 2018) in Brussels – The SSIX project addressed challenges of artificial intelligence (AI) by inviting an expert panel to speak about AI focusing on traceability, liability, data protection and ethics.

Jorge Valero, journalist at EURACTIV, moderated the stakeholder event, allowing the audience to engage with the speakers in a dynamic debate. Participants of the expert panel were

  • Mady Delvaux (Member of the European Parliament);
  • Toon Vanagt (Managing partner at Data.be and Lex.be);
  • Laurentiu Vasiliu (CEO at Peracton);
  • Brian Davis (Lecturer at the Maynooth University).

Artificial intelligence is already part of our everyday life. However, there are still open questions to be answered to truly understand what AI can and can’t be a solution for.

The audience, consisting of a balanced mix of professionals experienced in data analytics and policy making, actively participated in the discussion. During a lively debate, it was highlighted that there is a need for a better understanding of data protection. For example, who owns the data collected by machines and used in various applications.

Addressing liability and ethical concerns linked to AI is key to ensure a responsible use of this potentially disruptive technology. Therefore, it is essential to educate the next generation about legal consequences of sharing private data and consequently foster a responsible use of AI.

Furthermore, it was emphasized that it would be beneficial to restructure the educational system. Hence, to match the new requirements of a changing job market for an increasing demand of data experts but also more flexibility. To quote Laurentiu Vasiliu: “The job you will be working in, might not even exist yet.”

AI providing job opportunities was challenged by pointing out the high likelihood of jobs being cut due to enhanced technologies replacing humans.

Nevertheless, the potential of AI was recognised together with a need to approach AI further by policy makers to make it as profitable as possible for our society by setting the right framework.

To sum it up there is still a lot of work to be done, mainly raising awareness about what exactly is at stake and how to best precede in managing the challenges provided by AI.

This blog post was written by SSIX partner EURACTIV.
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