Thirteen experts talk about the responsible use of AI in Budapest

On 2 October, the National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) hosted an international conference on the regulation of artificial intelligence entitled “Humans in Charge – Steering the AI Age Responsibly”. The conference was prompted by the forthcoming European AI regulation and the recent rapid spread of AI which require all relevant responsible stakeholders to tune up thinking and awareness of the new technology in order to maximise societal benefits.

The NMHH, which has made the responsible use of artificial intelligence a top priority, invited 13 international AI experts to speak at the event for them to

  • present the European regulation’s risk-based approach to AI,
  • describe the best practices they know of, either from a government or a private sector perspective, and
  • draw attention to the challenges of AI as well as related areas, such as the protection of personal data and children, or the ethical use of digital services.

The conference was organised around four major themes, each exploring the potential impact of artificial intelligence from a different point of view.

Responsible AI on digital platforms, in telco and the media

The responsible use of artificial intelligence on digital platforms, in telecommunications and the media was discussed with experts from several globally recognised companies (Microsoft, T-Systems).

They, albeit showing how paramount pioneering innovation for these companies was, stressed that artificial intelligence may not be the answer to every problem, and that an ethical approach to product development continued to play an important role.


AI, safety and security

The full title of this topic was "AI, safety and security. AI for the common good and the protection of the next generation".

Assessing the relationship between artificial intelligence, the digital world and children made it clear that while artificial intelligence had many potentials for both individuals and society in the field of education, medicine and individual skills development, its negative impacts, such as significantly less human interaction among children or the unknown dangers of the digital space should not be ignored.

In order to protect children, UNICEF (the UN’s Children’s Fund) has launched the initiative “AI for Children” to guide governments in addressing children’s needs.


AI regulation, ethics and governance

In their analyses of the regulation of artificial intelligence, the speakers stressed that it was not necessary for each country to come up with a regulation built on their own set of principles as the European Union’s risk-based approach provided a sound basis.

It all lies in the details and is a matter of implementation.

Here, what matters is not whether a state will set up a single dedicated artificial intelligence authority or a decentralised system with several specialised agencies, but rather the existence and appropriate use of a wide range of expertise (technical, scientific, machine learning and artificial intelligence).


AI in society and public services

The discussion on the use of artificial intelligence in societies and public services pointed out that, although the public sector had a key role to play in the regulation of the artificial intelligence, in the simplest terms, it all boiled down to a difficult choice between three options.

The difference between each outcome depends on how much we entrust artificial intelligence with the delivery of public services. In the first case, government merely regulates the artificial intelligence.

In the second case, it uses artificial intelligence for governance in such a way that humans retain full control over the technologies.

And in the third case, human decision-makers surrender complete control to artificial intelligence.

In addition to an enquiry into ethical dilemmas, a number of yet unknown consequences may arise when making this choice, so the real power of artificial intelligence in the public sector is expected to be harnessed step by step.

The conference provided valuable experience, actionable knowledge and successful examples to follow for the nearly 200 attendees who included top AI academics, the representatives, lawyers and researchers of leading media and communications companies, as well as the representatives of domestic public institutions interested in the potential deployment and use of artificial intelligence.

Although this was the first such conference organised by the National Media and Infocommunications Authority of Hungary, strong interest in the event and positive feedback suggest that it may well not be the last.



The President of the National Media and Infocommunications Authority, emphasized the need for collaboration among researchers, developers, and decision-makers for ethical AI development and usage. While AI has great potential to enhance life quality and human efficiency, it also poses significant challenges, particularly with deepfake technologies eroding faith in digital reality. Koltay called for further exploration of the AI's legal implications, data protection, and vital ethical standards.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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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