The rapid development of technology over the past decades has changed the world: life has become easier, more convenient, more comfortable, people have opportunities that they could only dream of before. However.
it is extremely important that the technological breakthrough does not turn into a decline in basic human values. The seriousness of these problems is recognized all over the world – in particular, Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed them out in his speech at the UN General Assembly.
The head of state spoke about the urgent problems currently facing the world community, and among the potential threats to humanity, he mentioned advanced technical developments that can cause many troubles if uncontrolled use.
“The pandemic has also sharpened a number of ethical, technological, and humanitarian topics. Thus, advanced digital technologies have made it possible to quickly rebuild the system of education, trade, services, establish distance learning, online courses for people of different ages. Artificial intelligence helped doctors make diagnoses more accurately and quickly, and select optimal treatment regimens.
The President expressed his conviction that the issues of cybersecurity and the use of advanced digital technologies deserve the most serious discussion at the UN. According to him, it is important to hear and accept the fears of people – how much their rights will be protected in the new era: the rights to privacy, property, security.
The president’s opinion regarding a cautious and deliberate attitude to new technologies is shared by experts. Maxim Fedorov, professor, vice president of Skootch in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and mathematical modeling, considers it “archival” to take into account ethical issues when developing various systems related to advanced technologies.
“Now these issues have become global, so this approach is absolutely necessary. Some of the technologies can threaten both the very existence of man, and cultural values.
and the fundamental foundations of human civilization. Therefore, UNESCO and other international organizations are now actively working in this direction. Ethics differs from many other areas of human activity in that it is constantly evolving: for example, the morality of modern society cannot be compared with the moral principles of the Middle Ages.
Moreover, in different countries there is a different idea of morality. But there are some universal values, and our task is to develop a mechanism that could be used to verify AI systems,” says the expert.
According to him, UNESCO has an idea to develop a platform that would automatically or semi-automatically make it possible to make some kind of assessment of possible ethical risks associated with the use of a particular technology. Several approaches to solving this problem are currently being discussed, but it is also important to take into account the delicacy of the topic under discussion.
“The topic is very subtle, it is clear that instinctively it causes rejection in a number of people. Why? Because as it is, the ruler will now measure the essential ethical, human issues. Therefore, most likely, if this system comes to life, it will resemble a traffic light – red, yellow and green. Relatively speaking, the green light means few risks. Yellow – there are questions, let’s take a closer look at them. Red – there is something completely unacceptable. I think it will be more of a qualitative assessment than a quantitative one,” says Maxim Fedora.
According to him, it is not so important how such a mechanism will look in the end – it is much more important to determine the basic approaches to the problem of interaction between advanced technologies and humans.
Technology for man, not man for technology
The professor believes that it is important to adhere to several fundamental principles. Firstly, a human-centric model is needed, that is, all technologies should be for the benefit of a person and for the benefit of society.
“Moreover, it is necessary to maintain a balance between individual needs and the needs of society, which is now forgotten in our country. After all, ethics is a program for the optimal existence of people in society,” says Fedora.
The second significant factor is directly related to the first, the expert continues – in no case should one attach any subjectivity to artificial intelligence technologies. Do not forget that we are talking about a simple set of lines of code and hardware, devoid of feelings and emotions. “There is no mysticism in artificial intelligence. Only a certain set of technologies that is nothing more than an advanced calculator, ”the scientist emphasizes.
Finally, the third aspect that seems important to Maxim Fedora is the prevention of digital inequality. According to him, access to technology should be free for everyone, so that there is no semblance of technofascism that can exacerbate the social stratification of society. At the same time, there should be no coercion in relation to those people who, for one reason or another, do not want to use the achievements of modern technology.
We have different members of society, including those who are digitally wary. Let these people be a kind of reserve, because who knows what will happen to us, users of advanced developments, in the future,” says Maxim Fedora.
The head of ROCIT, Sergey Grebennikov, also considers it especially important to clearly understand the boundary between online and offline.
We can give an example of today’s speech by German Graf at Sober Conf. He said: we are introducing the most advanced technologies so that you have time to live. These are very deep and correct words – every person should use technology in order to be better. But do not immerse yourself exclusively in online, and do not replace online with offline, ”the expert shared his opinion.
According to Sergey Grebennikov, it is possible to achieve a reasonable attitude towards technologies at the user level by increasing digital literacy and educating conscious consumption. As for organizations that implement technologies,