Thought leaders from the AI industry shared ideas and predictions on the present and future of artificial intelligence at the DLA Piper European Technology Summit.
On the 15th of October 2019, there was the fourth edition of the DLA Piper European Technology Summit with over 350 attendees, fantastic speakers, and two great keynote speakers Thimon de Jong and Yancey Strickler.
I had the pleasure to moderate the panel on artificial intelligence whose title was “Applying the laws of man or the laws of Asimov – future regulation for AI” with Luisella Giani from Oracle, Alessandro Mantelero from the Council of Europe, Uljan Sharka from iGenius and Ed Thomas from GlobalData.
The discussed topics were interesting, and below is an outline of my personal top 5 takeaways:
1. The term AI sounds negative and in some ways unrealistic
We are still far from the time of robots chasing us like in the I, Robot movie. And according to Luisella Giani, AI often sounds like a mythical future prediction more than a reality. The word Artificial, then, implies that something is just a cheap imitation of the genuine article, designed to deceive others. At the same time, intelligence is a lousy word. How do we determine that something is intelligent? She prefers to use either machine learning or cognitive computing or just computers.
2. AI will be essential for the survival of any business
Apart from discussions on the actual scope of artificial intelligence, there was a consistent view of the fact that AI will impact any industry. According to Ed Thomas, GlobalData identified seven AI technologies, including machine learning, data science, conversational platforms, computer vision, AI chips, smart robots, and context-aware computing. AI is already disrupting every industry and, over the next few years, will become essential to the survival of businesses of all types. Those companies missing the AI theme risk stagnation or elimination.
3. Companies need to have a well-defined AI strategy
It is not too early for an AI strategy, and any business already uses artificial intelligence. Uljan Sharka believes that companies shall focus on applied AI and real problems. They should not outsource everything but build basic internal skills and work with partners that do not conflict with their products and services, now and potentially in the future.
4. Regulations will help the growth of artificial intelligence and will not be a disadvantage for EU entities
Alessandro Mantelero is confident that the European regulatory framework on artificial intelligence will not hinder EU companies from growing in the AI market, representing a competitive disadvantage over their non-EU competitors. A well-established legal and ethical framework will create trust around AI products and services, which will encourage their adoption by users. As it is happening with the GDPR that is being copied by several non-EU regulators.
5. We need to “educate” companies and regulators on artificial intelligence
A takeaway that summarizes the contents of the debate is that both companies and regulators need to be educated on artificial intelligence. Companies need to understand the real value of AI for their business, how their model of business is going to change with AI, and how to better exploit it. At the same time, regulators need to look at artificial intelligence as an essential component of the business of companies. Rules and rights of individuals need to be balanced with business needs, also because if individuals receive benefits, they will want that AI is used.
I enjoyed the AI panel, it was a great event, and we are already working on the next DLA Piper European Technology Summit!