New Paradigm in Latin America

Ethics and AI – the new Paradigm in Latin America –

Ingo Plöger, Brazilian entrepreneur, Pres., CEAL Conselho Empresarial da América Latina – Brazil 

New patterns directly influence business through globalization. We are well aware of the effects of IRFC on our balance sheets, safety standards with LATINCAP in the automotive area, fossil carbon emissions and more. However, never in evolution in the global economy, have we seen the importance in standards being as relevant as recently in Artificial Intelligence- AI. Due to the enormous power of scale that the AI ​​represents, bringing Big Data in its baggage, the speed of intelligent processing and the reach of networking, make of it today the biggest paradigm in the business and economic context. Its scope is scaled beyond these boundaries, reaching the social and political area. On this scale, it directly affects the scope of global societies, in which Latin America is completely inserted.

In the social and political area, we observed the performance of AI in the American elections, in BREXIT and in the Brazilian elections, where social media, in the end, made the difference. We can also imagine the same in the Argentine elections. Like the Cambridge Analytic example of Facebook identification, individual and group dissatisfaction and relating it to a political proposal, made the campaign strongly directed by social media. How this procedure is politically sustainable over time is the ethical issue in the policy we are facing. In the social field, the preferences identified by algorithms, allow the State to direct public policies to its citizens. China has used this mechanism to perform a “score” of conformities for the citizens’ evaluation called the Social Credit System to grant preferences or punishments 1).

In the economic area, the nine Digital Giants act directly with IA in their markets, not only globally, but also selectively in each of our countries. Through the Internet, we receive daily personal preferences of services and products originated by our searches. On the personal side of our interactions in the electronic media, interpreted by Siri’s, Alexa’s etc. we get answers to unanswered questions. To some extent, we do not bother, but we begin to see how interference occurs in our private lives.

In the technological area, we realize that AI has made amazing progress, in the area of ​​health, work systems, procedures in machine learning and extended reality among others. Nevertheless, when security issues come in which the machine, who makes decisions by whom, becomes very important when we are in spheres of lethal risks replaces the human option. In many cases, the decisions taken by the IA, overlap with the Human Being, considering that it is safer or because the “majority” has opted for it. These imply directly on the scale of values ​​and become Ethical. “Someone” programs the algorithm in the best of intentions, and becomes the consciousness of the system. This already well-known and highly sensitive issue affects several societies. The response of the European Union was to install a platform of IA and Ethics, with the participation of well-known personalities offering proposals to the public  with  alternatives and a guideline of principles, to become regulations or laws.2)

In the USA, public and private high-profile institutes, such as MIT, establish impact projects (for example: Moral Machine) to create cultural paradigms that can establish commonly accepted standards of ethical conduct. 3) In this way, an autonomous vehicle may in future have a European program, different from the Asian one, giving life or death preference to different groups of society, in case of an inevitable fatal accident.

In Latin America, which pattern will follow?  how will it position itself on issues of its socio-cultural relevance? The insipient discussion on our continent already has platforms on which these questions are being addressed. In Brazil 8 universities, companies and startups have launched an Advanced Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) where the FEI, will be leading the IA core platform and Ethics 4). AI can boost Latin America’s growth in several strategic areas such as agribusiness, logistics, health, sustainability education, among others 5).

The main question will be how will Latin America define its path through its values ​​or adopt diverse patterns? Several initiatives show that Latin America is not oblivious to the challenge. Both Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and other countries have already defined their Data Policy and IoT platforms and enter the debate on Ethics and IA 6). It is  expected that legislative institutions, self-proclaimed norms and rules will be installed quickly on the Continent. The big question is how Latin American entrepreneurs are getting involved in this journey, being part of the debate between Ethics and AI in a human way, active without being carried away by emotions. (algorithms and artificial intelligence in Latin America);; (ILDA ); ;

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