10 Pillars of a European Digital Strategy on Artificial Intelligence (first draft)

As next week I will be attending a consultation in the European Parliament, I would like to share, in advance, some of my thoughts on the pillars on a European digital strategy on artificial intelligence.

While glamorous slide decks and pompous speeches about the importance of the artificial intelligence for the future of Europe are an encouraging first step, the hard truth of the matter is that keeping our continent relevant for this industry in the international markets will require a refactoring core issues in education, administration and justice. We should not hope to receive the fruits of artificial intelligence before our companies, our institutions and especially our citizens are prepared to make the cultural, technological and societal jump towards an informed trust of the digital landscape.

  1. Redefining digital truth. In the digital world we need to redefine our relationship with truth, not as something we may entirely have, but as something we have the duty to always seek further. Technology is just a toolbox to help us gather or analyze evidence more quickly. We must not wait for technology to endow us with the spirit of seeking truth. It should be the other way around.
  2. Automating and enforcing IT audits. Encourage  crowd-sourced reporting of incidents –  to white hat hacker culture. Assist transparency of reported issue through blockchain.  Middle and higher education need the “white-hat hacker” to become the new European superhero.
  3. A new digital currency that enables supply chain transparency and environmental protection policies by design.  The world needs a new currency – one that accounts for consumption of hard-renewable. Being offended does nothing if we do not bake safeguards against inefficiency and over-consumption. 
  4. Redraw the relationship between children and technology. Kindergarden and primary education, the bedrock of our society needs to shape the relationship of children with technology.
  5. The Hippocratic Oath of The Digital Worker. Programmers and digital marketers nowadays wield as much impact over society as a lawyer, a doctor or a notary. It is reckless to allow an entire profession to wield so much power, while encouraged to have little regard for the consequences.
  6. Humanists and engineers need to shake hands around a new table of inter-disciplinary semantic coherence, not just on endless, unmoderated discussion. A table around which “forget that, it’s too philosophical” and “it’s not my problem, that is just a technical detail” are no longer acceptable arguments. The age of artificial intelligence should bring down the walls between disciplines and most especially, between the humanities and the exact sciences.
  7. The world has become too complex to be understood or handled with the concepts from just one language. Each of the children born from 2020 should be enabled to learn three languages: a mother tongue, a foreign language and a programming language.
  8. We need a Nova Lex Digitalis that is inclusive to consumers, one which uses the speed of technology and the reliability of cryptography as the pen, paper, stamp and gavel of law and administration: the use of cryptography and certificates as a stronger version of signatures and paper documents.
  9. Redefine the purpose of education as learning self-verifiable truths by building and collaborating rather than by repeating and memorising. The fact that AI is the industry of the future is just an illusion, a projection of the following fact: the industry of the future is inter-disciplinarity in the service of community and environment. The core of that industry relies of human-to-machine-to-human interoperability of concepts, definition and fictions. AI is just a powerful tool to achieve that.
  10. Redefine the rules of engagement around political debate and digital political debate around persistent, measurable, verifiable (falsifiable) statements, facts or predictions, that are immutable from the public record. An informed electorate is one with not just accurate date, but fresh data. Nowadays, corruption and misrepresentation of fact and motivation happen on the near-light-speed fast Internet connections and often with zero human supervision. We need to make this practice stop or at least, to drastically curb it forthwith.

This represents my perspective on the European strategy on Artificial Intelligence before attending the consultation. Upon my return, I will write a follow-up note regrading the priorities and the perspectives I was exposed to and learned about.



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