Socrates seminar in Kyiv

On 3-5 October Socrates Kyiv seminar “Unlocking the Potential of Artificial Intelligence” took place at the premises of Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine.

Participants who came from 10 countries discussed social challenges and opportunities created by rapid advance and spread of artificial intelligence technologies. The Socrates Seminar was organized by the Aspen Institute Kyiv and Socrates Program of the Aspen Institute (USA). The seminar was moderated by Wilson White, Director of the Public Policy & Government Relations Team at Google.

Below are short notes and questions discussed during the seminar:

During the first session, the group exchanged views on the essence of artificial intelligence technology and its meaningful interpretations – technical, legal, policymaking, etc. “Artificial intelligence” is used today as an umbrella term for a set of algorithms that allow machines to be “smarter” in their interactions with users and to “learn” while working on specific tasks. Artificial intelligence was compared to the “mirror” that reflects multi-dimensional human nature; to a “child” who must be brought up properly; some parallels have been discussed between AI and other technologies that substantially influenced our societies in the past.

Implications for policymaking in specific domains like military, labor and social relations were subject to the second session. It was emphasized that policymakers and stakeholders should focus on principles and values that underly decision making in such fields. In that context also the issue of AI bias and its roots was thoroughly explored by participants as well as ethical implications for AI development.

During the third session, the conversation focused on potential as well as actual consequences of AI propagation, different scenarios, and trends that might define the future of nations and human lives. Participants explored changes in education, health care and other domains where the influence of AI and other digital technologies is growing fast. Participants agreed that multilevel international cooperation is needed to foresee risks and to take advantage of opportunities provided by AI technology in solving the most difficult global problems.