The 1st conference of the International Research and Orientation Group on Artificial Intelligence (iROG-AI) started its work on Monday.
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This meeting is the first of its kind in the history of artificial intelligence. It will bring together, for almost 15 days, all of the AI professionals under the same umbrella to take stock of the technology. After several decades of a "winter" without major innovation, artificial intelligence seems to resurface again.
This is not the first winter experienced by AI. One of the most complex technologies in the industry has already experienced two winter periods in terms of development: 1973-1980 and 1988-1993. Lack of related technologies preventing the development of the necessary solutions or just the obvious absence of breakthroughs in the core development of the technology, creating a new form of intelligence is not obvious!
And after the pandemic of 2020, a new winter fell on the field, depriving the research of the advances so hoped for in the early 2010s.
In recent years, however, many technologies have started to emerge as early as 2035. The end of the moratoriums on facial recognition have indeed allowed many developments to facilitate human-machine social interactions. Having the ability to recognize faces, identify emotions ... has accelerated the work on AI social intelligence.
The conglomerates of researchers have therefore started to meet more regularly to advance developments but also to continue the ethical debate. However, the lack of coordination between the research groups has led to many contradictory actions and, above all, to an escalation of regulations.
Because, unfortunately, the progress made has, as often, attracted the attention of unscrupulous government more interested in individual control than the development of new technologies for the sole well-being of humanity. In response, many think tanks, mainly regional, pushed for more and more regulations to counter localized effects of this government's desire for ever more control.
But the unexpected consequence of these scattered actions organized above all to show the general public that the problem was taken seriously, was that governments found themselves in control of the tools for controlling technological developments in the private sector. The best position for some governments to take advantage of the situation and steer the technology in their direction.
The numerous ethics or oversight committees, prior authorization regimes and other administrative procedures work positively in the hands of democratic institutions where the balance of power allows a broader approach to the problem, and on the basis of various opinions. But when these methodologies are taken up, under the guise of protecting citizens or transparency imposed on the private sector, by governments with authoritarian tendencies, they become the best tools of influence to focus progress on the tools of freedom.
This is why, in order to better coordinate their actions and to propose more relevant institutional actions, stemming from feedback on a global scale, the research and reflection centers have grouped under the GIRO-AI authority to guarantee greater independence and, above all, greater visibility than that of governments.
The organization is of course not coercive, but it brings together the vast majority of researchers. Its influence on the entities developing the technology will be great and rumors of "walk out" are already being heard to protest against the use of certain technologies.
Some hope, however, that this will not go as far as removing the main source of funding for the sector which could cause AI to fall back into a new winter of creativity ...