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Dr. András Koltay: In the age of AI, researchers, developers and decision-makers need to cooperate

Society has by now become aware of the opportunities and risks associated with the rapid advance of artificial intelligence (AI), the President of the host National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) told in his opening speech at the Humans in Charge conference. According to Dr. András Koltay, generative AI technology has perhaps had the greatest impact on the media, but there is a “dark side” to its use. He stressed the need for researchers, developers and decision-makers to cooperate in the development and the responsible and ethical use of the technology.

Is artificial intelligence intelligence?

Although it may seem that AI understands us, its decisions are based on mathematical models and it lacks real intelligence – Dr. András Koltay noted in his keynote speech at the conference “Humans in Charge – Steering the AI Age Responsibly”.

“The most advanced and complex imitation machine ever built by mankind, equipped with capabilities that seem almost magical in the eyes of society. (...) It holds up a mirror and asks us what our core values are, what we hold important, what we want to preserve, what the patterns, rules and laws are that we want to follow in the future?” the President of the NMHH remarked adding that AI was also a new tool of planning the future, bringing a paradigm shift, i.e. changing the zeitgeist.

He spoke about the importance of innovation whereby AI can be used to improve the quality of life, human efficiency and creativity. His examples included self-driving cars, diagnostic and health advice systems.

At the same time, he drew attention to the growing challenges and the importance of giving the right answers to these challenges.

Artificial intelligence and the law

The President of the NMHH pointed out that human values, data protection and the responsible use of technology were all areas that were affected and increasingly defined by this technology.

“Therefore, jurisprudence must look in this mirror. Will it (AI) change, and if so, to what extent and in what direction traditional legal approaches, areas, the way law works or even its social validity? What are the potential problems and dangers of this generativity, and what new approaches to data protection, risk and liability are needed?” he asked and continued to raise further questions that were yet to be answered:

  • How can we guarantee the protection of data?
  • What ethical standards are needed for the development and use of artificial intelligence?
  • How can we ensure that technology remains accessible and equitable for all?

The impact of artificial intelligence on the media and the perception of reality

“The revolution of systems powered by generative artificial intelligence has perhaps hit the media world hardest, and the pressure is growing,” he pointed out. “The new models enable an interactive and dynamic conversation experience. Algorithms can be used to create huge amounts of text, moving images, interaction, reaching new levels of personalised reality.”

“But there is also a dark side: deepfake technologies are destroying the trust in digital reality. Fake news and misleading content fundamentally distort our perception of reality, threaten our information integrity and make us doubt. It is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between the real and the virtual, and because of their effect on us, we can easily lose the ability to identify reliable sources,” the NMHH President said adding that artificial intelligence seemed to be changing the way the media market worked.

He expressed his conviction that researchers, developers and decision-makers must collaborate to develop the technology and apply it responsibly and ethically.

“AI has a huge potential: it can help us find solutions to the challenges we face, be it climate change, healthcare or education. AI is not some external, distant entity but a part of our everyday lives, and we are all responsible for making the most of it,” Dr. András Koltay concluded.

This speaker

András Koltay

President, National Media and Infocommunications Authority

András Koltay is a lawyer, professor at the University of Public Service and the Pázmány Péter Catholic University.

He obtained his LL.M. (Master of Law) degree from University College London in 2007, prior to that he also studied at the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Between 2010 and 2019, he was a member of the Media Council of the NMHH.

Since 2016 he is a member of the Public Body of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and since 2017 a member of the Legal and Ethics Committee of the Hungarian Paralympic Committee.

He has more than 400 scientific publications in Hungarian and in English.

More speakers

Speeches

Italian researcher and AI4GOV founder Gianluca Misuraca spoke at the "Humans in Charge" conference on AI governance and the vital role of the public sector. He emphasized the importance of managing AI's potential benefits and risks for public services and society. Misuraca noted government's role as AI regulator, user and facilitator, and highlighted the challenge of adopting AI in public services while protecting citizens, especially under uncertain outcomes. He also stressed the need to prepare the workforce for increased AI use.
Prof. Dr. Olívia J. Erdélyi addressed the issue of AI regulation at the "Humans in Charge" conference, noting its current inconsistencies and suggesting the adoption of a risk-based approach like the EU's in the formulation of AI governance. She emphasized the importance of using consistent, scientific terminologies and developing regulations that technical staffs can accurately implement. Erdélyi also suggested AI governance could either be handled by a dedicated regulatory authority or multiple specialized agencies, provided there is coordination and expertise in AI and machine learning.
Brando Benifei, Italian Member of the European Parliament and co-rapporteur of the EU’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act, spoke live via video link to the conference participants. He said that the title of the NMHH conference “Humans in Charge – Steering the AI Age Responsibly” encapsulated perfectly what they wanted to achieve with the new Community legislation: a set of human-centred rules that allow strong human oversight, minimise risks and promote the reaping of the benefits.
At the "Humans in Charge - Steering the AI Age Responsibly" conference, George Tilesch, international expert and PHI Institute for Augmented Intelligence's founding president, emphasized on the convergence of technology, regulation and social inclusion in anticipation of AI Act's implementation. He expressed the vital need for proactive planning and hoped the conference’s insightful discussions would help Hungary prepare for its upcoming EU presidency.
As Data & AI Lead for Public Sector & Health at Microsoft Spain, he highlighted the need for collaboration between government and private sector in managing AI. He emphasised the transformative potential of AI. Sanchez underscored the importance of a cautious yet optimistic approach, referencing Microsoft's own AI regulation framework. He referenced Spain's progressive national AI strategy and the potential for other EU countries like Hungary to adopt the AI Sandbox model.
Maria Luciana Axente, a renowned AI ethics expert and advocate for children's rights, spoke at the "Humans in Charge" conference, focusing on child protection in the digital age. She explored the opportunities AI offers in education and health but warned of its darker side, including reducing human interaction crucial for childhood development. Axente highlighted notable efforts, such as UNICEF's "AI for Children" initiative, designed to answer emerging ethical questions around AI and children's safety.

Panel discussions

The panel discussion on 'Responsible AI in Digital Platforms, Telco & Media' focused on AI's role in these sectors and exploring strategies, challenges, and regulatory compliance. The panel comprised experts from Microsoft Spain, PHI Institute for Augmented Intelligence, OpenAI and T-Systems International.
The panelsists – who are internationally renowned AI experts – discussed AI's power as a constructive force but also potential threats and risks. The main focus was on creating awareness regarding AI safety and security, protecting vulnerable populations, particularly the youth, and the role of institutions and defense against AI misuse.
The world is nearing consensus on ethical AI, presaged by the anticipated EU AI Act. Questions of creating norms, operationalizing them, and establishing governance structures are central. Leaders are expected to understand AI policy, ethics, and communicate its implications effectively.
The fourth panel discusses AI-infused government services as a key area for AI introduction in society. Questions revolve around EU political readiness for AI, creating trustworthy AI environments, the role of AI sandboxes, and partnerships between public authorities and AI leaders. The participating panel experts hail from a diverse array of AI-related fields.

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