Politicians and Artificial Intelligence. Can national strategies succeed?

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For the first time in the history of societies, people will live with technology as a partner that is guided by its own rules and laws. Politicians are increasingly aware of the various consequences of AI expansion. Will they be able to regulate our relationship with AI?

For at least five years now, the world has been using artificial intelligence in the economy, education, science and in general public interest. Inevitably, the governments of many countries could no longer avoid reflecting deeply on their prior AI experience and the research into its essence. Artificial intelligence is not merely the perfect driver of economic development or yet another innovative IT solution. Rather, it is a powerful force that is changing the way societies work, creating a new kind of interpersonal relationships and new professional roles. New technologies are set to change the way we work, learn, rest, and communicate with one another. The Internet of Things will alter the functioning of cities, blockchain will revolutionize the authentication of financial transactions, voice assistants will become an important tool for obtaining information, while chatbots will dominate customer service. In fact, the changes do not end there — there is a great deal more coming our way.

A challenge for homo sapiens

From education to political domination

Summarized below are the actions that governments are taking in response to the ongoing technological revolution. My information comes from the publications and reports accessible in March 2020, when this article was written. I focused on a few select countries, where I think things are interesting and/or important for the human-machine relationship.

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China: The brave new world

India: Social welfare and language apps

There is another area where the use of artificial intelligence could produce results, which is precisely why AI is being heatedly debated by both politicians and scientists. India is a country of 22 national languages and over 800 dialects. This makes it a perfect ground for testing natural language processing technologies and translation/human-machine communication applications. The research and commercial potential of this field is enormous. The chatbot and intelligent voice assistant segment is growing fast.

Russia: Not just the military

However, if you read between the lines of the statements of this political leader and look calmly at what the Russians are doing, it appears that Russia has a lot of catching up to do in terms of openness to new technologies when compared with the United States, China, or Germany. This applies to legislation, awareness and the funding of new solutions.

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The United States: America First

Canada. Learning algorithms

The European Union

Germany: comprehensive support

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France: an appetite for leadership

Clearly, much work has already been done. While governments recognize the potential of technology, they are also weary of threats to the labor market, to people or even to the competitiveness of their economies. What could help us now is a supranational debate on AI-related ethical issues. We need to establish when and to what extent any individual form of artificial intelligence could be considered a separate legal entity, as it attains awareness. How will we protect and develop it and what will its responsibility be for actions affecting us, humans, or other machines?

Works cited:

CNET, Stephen Shankland, Elon Musk says Neuralink plans 2020 human test of brain-computer interface. “A monkey has been able to control a computer with his brain,” Musk says of his startup’s brain-machine interface, Link, 2019.

FORBES, Sarwant Singh, Transhumanism And The Future Of Humanity: 7 Ways The World Will Change By 2030, Link, 2020.

SLATE, RACHEL WITHERS, The EU Is Trying to Decide Whether to Grant Robots Personhood, Link, 2018.

Written by

Technology is my passion. Head of Microsoft Services CEE. Private opinions only

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