In today's world, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is playing an increasingly central role in our lives.
But have we stopped to consider the ethical and legal implications of this technological revolution? In a fascinating and timely talk, Cecilia Danesi, an AI specialist and lawyer, and Tomás Balmaceda, a Doctor of Philosophy (also the moderator of the talk), addressed these issues and more, sharing their reflections on the impact of AI on society and how we are to face these challenges.
Cecilia is a lawyer, writer, speaker, teacher, and researcher in Artificial Intelligence, gender, and rights. She began her career studying Law at the University of Buenos Aires, but soon became attracted to the world of Artificial Intelligence, seeking a challenge and stepping out of her comfort zone. She learned about AI with a private tutor, as a result of a monograph she came across while doing a master's degree in Spain. This thesis focused on guilt in legal systems influenced by these technologies, with the focus of its analysis on whether the blame lies in the system or in the programmer.
Throughout the talk, several unsettling questions were raised related to the interaction between law and technology. Cecilia shared her experience as a young lawyer in a field where she faced several challenges and stereotypes. Despite the difficulties, she remained steadfast and has become a defender of equality and inclusion in the field of AI.
One of the key concerns in the debate about Artificial Intelligence is how it affects society and whether we should fear its potentially catastrophic effects. While systems advance exponentially and are difficult to recognize (such as AI-generated images), the fear is no different than before. The European Union has advanced regulations, even going so far as to ban ChatGPT in Italy.
Defining and regulating AI is a challenge in itself, as there is no single definition that satisfies all experts and allows for effective regulation. Cecilia argued that we should not take the debate to an unnecessary level, but we should find a balance between innovation and the protection of citizens. The talk also addressed the impact of AI on knowledge and the perception of what is real and what is fictitious. Artificial intelligence has consequences that are difficult to understand because they are not tangible, such as algorithms in social media. The concept of error in AI was discussed, such as when ChatGPT often confidently provides wrong answers, generating additional concerns.
As for regulation, the complexity lies in finding a definition that encompasses all its phenomena. The EU proposes levels to categorize risk, but there are still gray areas. Some cities, such as New York, have implemented regulations for audits of job recruitment algorithms. Tomás, the moderator, raised the issue of the lack of soul in Chat GPT and shared an experience of a student who tried to cheat with the help of these tools. He argued that if an AI can pass an exam, the problem lies in the exam and not the person.
An interesting question from the audience addressed the issue of algorithmic biases, which happens to be the area of expertise of both Cecilia and Tomás. They both agreed that any process of creation or destruction is imbued with human biases, and that these biases propagate to AI systems, often amplifying them due to their processing capacity. To what extent is society willing to accept the presence of biases in AI systems? How can we work to reduce these biases?
The goal of society is to adapt and convert to a 4.0 world. But how do we educate future generations in programming and AI? Cecilia and Tomás advocated for being aware that our actions have an impact, and that we are all responsible for our role in the technological revolution. At the individual level, people must acquire new skills and abilities to stay up-to-date in a constantly evolving world.
Universities must also adapt their curricula to address these challenges, ensuring that studies and careers are aligned with the needs of a world where technology and AI play a fundamental role.
In conclusion, the talk shed light on the ethical and legal concerns surrounding AI and how we can tackle these challenges as a society. The key is to find a balance between innovation and protecting citizens, adapting our skills, knowledge, and regulations accordingly. It is also crucial to foster citizen awareness and assume our responsibility in the creation and use of Artificial Intelligence systems, so that we can successfully navigate towards a future where technology and ethics coexist in harmony.