Advances in computing power, data availability, and new algorithms have led to rapid progress in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). It is “the most influential human innovation in history”, says Archana Sinha. Deployed wisely, AI promises to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges, but it can also have destabilizing consequences on some key dimensions of economic and social life.
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In manufacturing, AI promises to increase productivity by extending the capabilities of humans and helping businesses gain efficiencies, including through direct automation, predictive maintenance, reduced machine downtime, and more. shutdown, 24/7 production, etc. However, as Ezekiel Kwetchi Takam rightly points out, “This automation will be deployed at the expense of some of the human labor whose skills will be deemed irrelevant.”
In public administration, the adoption of AI can help improve public services, for example by interacting with service users via virtual assistants or by enabling smarter analytical capabilities and better understanding of processes. in real time. There is, however, a risk, when using the data, of amplifying existing biases and producing discriminatory and unethical results for different people. Moreover, as economist Etienne Perrot explains, “by developing algorithms based exclusively on computation and stochastic data, AI substitutes statistical correlations for (human) causal relationships. The lack of contradictory interpretations inherent in AI creates a human cost that can already be seen in predictive justice.
To mitigate these risks, argues Domingo Sugranyes, regulation is needed “on both input (quality of data, avoidance of bias, ownership of data, purpose of automated processes) and output (reasonableness of results) rather than on the software itself”. Moreover, as Perrot points out, any “AI regulation must aim to keep the human factor and its responsibility at the heart of all economic, judicial and political decisions”.
Although AI can have positive impacts for humanity, it seems to have raised at least as many questions as it has answered, opening Pandora’s box. To ensure that the costs, benefits and risks generated by AI are equitably shared between citizens and stakeholders in accordance with democratic values and human rights, public authorities have a crucial role to play. play in establishing such a regulatory framework. One way to achieve this could be “to define a specific taxation of AI which will serve to: 1) guarantee an unemployment income to those who could be called the ‘economics left behind by technological evolution’; 2) finance their training and professional retraining,” says Takam.
By Virgile Perret and Paul Dembinski
To note: From virus to vitamin invites experts to comment on issues of finance and economics in relation to society, ethics and the environment. Below, you will find viewpoints from a variety of perspectives, practical experiences, and academic disciplines. The subject of this discussion is: How to prepare for AI? Does AI deserve — and, if so, why — specific regulation, guidance or taxation?
“…the lack of conflicting interpretations inherent in AI creates a human cost…”
“The main challenge of artificial intelligence is twofold: On the positive side, the optimization of industrial and commercial processes (with the elimination of human intermediaries); on the negative side, on the one hand, the weakening of intra-systemic information and the concealment of risk and, on the other hand, the dehumanization of administrative and judicial relations. By developing algorithms based exclusively on computation and stochastic data, AI substitutes statistical correlations for (human) causal relationships. The lack of contradictory interpretations inherent in AI creates a human cost that can already be seen in predictive justice. Any regulation in this area must aim to keep the human factor and its responsibility at the heart of all economic, legal and political decisions.
Etienne Perrot — Jesuit, economist and member of the editorial board of the review Choisir (Geneva) and advisor to the review Etudes (Paris)
“…it is urgent to define a specific taxation of AI…”
“Artificial intelligence will increase productivity in manufacturing while developing new areas of employment and expertise. Unfortunately, this automation will be deployed to the detriment of a part of the human workforce whose skills will be deemed irrelevant for this new market. It is therefore urgent to define a specific taxation of AI which will serve to: 1) guarantee an unemployment income to those who could be called the “economics abandoned by technological development”; 2) finance their training and professional retraining.
In public administration, AI will contribute to developing a new “algorithmic governance”, defined by Muller-Birn et al as a form of governance that integrates algorithmic systems. It is therefore important to regulate this new dynamic of governance by involving citizens in the process: through democratic participation, the citizen must be the evaluator and co-constructor of this new form of public service.
Ezekiel Kwetchi Takam — PhD candidate in theological ethics of artificial intelligence at the University of Geneva
“…it is necessary to educate a capacity for discernment in digital environments…”
“AI and big data are transforming areas such as advertising, media, finance, insurance, manufacturing, health and medicine, weather forecasting, disaster prevention, administration of justice. .. It is a technological revolution with a universal vocation with an enormous impact on work, culture, civil life and social structures. Regulation is necessary on the entry (quality of data, avoidance of prejudices, ownership of data, automated processes) and on the output (reasonableness of the results) rather than on the software itself Public intervention is needed to protect competition from monopolistic practices, which is difficult because technology markets operate in different ways classic markets. It is above all a question of forming a capacity for discernment in digital environments at all levels and all age groups, and of promote universal access to digital services.
Domingue Sugranyes — director of a seminar on ethics and technology at the Pablo VI Foundation, former executive vice-president of the international insurance group MAPFRE
“…it is vital to avoid focusing exclusively on economic efficiency…”
AI includes forms of intelligence demonstrated by machines in three different areas: 1) advanced automation; 2) computerized research on the central nervous system; and 3) bridging one and two through the use of neurophysiological models in the design of machines to perform practical tasks, primarily robots (see James Lighthill’s well-known classification). Already, significant parts of social and economic organization have been affected by AI, and this process can be expected to continue. In approaching institutional design, it is essential to avoid focusing exclusively on economic efficiency in the narrow sense – in particular, replacing mainly but not exclusively semi-skilled and unskilled labor with machines. One can already conceive of innovations that increase the tasks that ordinary workers are able to perform, for example, through new technologies allowing workers to perform tasks previously performed by more skilled people or enabling the provision of more specialized by the existing workforce.
Andrew Cornford — advisor to the Observatoire de la Finance, former staff member of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in charge of financial regulation and international trade in financial services
“…AI could become the most influential human innovation in history…”
Artificial intelligence raises important questions for society, economy and governance. The world is poised to revolutionize many industries with AI, but how AI systems are developed needs to be better understood due to the major implications these technologies will have for society as a whole. To balance innovation with core values, recommendations include improving access to data, increasing government investment in AI, promoting AI workforce development, creating a civic advisory committee, engaging with the state to ensure it enacts effective policies. These processes need to be better understood as they will have a substantial impact on the general masses soon and in the foreseeable future. AI could become the most influential human innovation in history.
Archana Sinha — head of the Department of Women’s Studies at the Indian Social Institute in New Delhi, India
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