Node Manager in the
Greater Stockholm Region for AI Sweden
Tell us about your first encounter with artificial intelligence (AI)?
I believe I didn’t noticed the first times actually. Probably when I Googled or when Facebook started using AI for matching my account with news articles, friends updates and adds. Since then Spotify and Netflix uses AI to match me with new music or films. I have also tried out Alexa for a while but there is so much that needs to be developed before she becomes really useful. In USA the AI has been used to enable companies like Stich Fix which is a subscription of clothes for people that aren’t interested in clothes and fashion.
What is your competence within the field of AI?
I have no formal education so what I bring to the table is both a healthy external perspective with focus on enabling citizen value and usability - without lack of integrity - and a fantastic network to match domain experts in needy organizations with AI enablers
Why did you develop an interest in AI?
This is – as so much other things in my life – by chance. A great opportunity showed up and I took it. But it is also a very natural next step from data based smart city and mobility – which was my former occupation – since it needs AI to add value. I also find AI challenging and so complex so I want to contribute to access it as much as possible to the citizens so that they can take an active part in the development and usage of AI. Adding on to that, one thing I find inspiring is that AI has proven to visualize the blind spots of humans, which I think is so valuable. So far in history we tend to repeat bad mistakes and I expect AI to keep all facts in our faces so we can’t disregard them anymore and continuously make bad decisions.
Can you recommend a relevant book or film about AI?
I’m reading “Superintelligence” by Nick Bostrom now. If you would like to read some good fiction I recommend “Speak” by Louisa Hall or “Idoru” by William Gibson. AI in film is mostly from a dystopic perspective, like “Matrix”, “Terminator”, “Blade Runner” or “I robot”. I like to balance those with seeing “Ready Player One” by Steven Spielberg which is spectacular (also a very good read actually).
Why should we, or should we not, be afraid of AI?
We should, as always, be careful and not rush into things completely unconsciously. AI has the potential to do so much good but to the same extent enable just as much bad. If you are interested in this topic you should read Max Tegmarks “Life 3.0” or read the “open letter on artificial intelligence” by Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and a dozen other AI experts.
Which field, in your opinion, has the most to benefit from AI – and why?
Society and the welfare system has everything to gain from AI which is shown by the Swedish Authority DIGG (digitalization authority) in a report from January 2020. They show that these areas would benefit from AI developed with today’s technology:
increased and more equal access to high quality healthcare despite declining economic conditions and an aging population
increased access to more equal and high-quality education based on the student's conditions, despite diminishing financial conditions and teacher shortages
a public administration that, to a greater extent than today, defends the principle of equal treatment and continuously makes visible and remedies the detection of discrimination, with the aim of safeguarding public confidence.
more efficient public administration through increased automation.
How should the use of AI develop in the future?
I would like to see robust, predictable and transparent AI that improves human life and makes us sustainable towards the Earth and its inhabitants. We won’t get there by extensive legislations and regulations concerning the AI or algorithms but instead by agreeing on core values such as ensuring the integrity of the individual, ownership of generated data, regulations of rights to harvest data and ensuring that technology is harnessed for good. For this we need open platforms, open and respectful minds and engagements from all citizens.
Why should participants tune in during AI+?
Since AI effects all parts of society it concerns us all we need to start talking and learning together. AI+ is a great opportunity to talk about AI on many different levels parallelly – beginners, deep tech, UX, legislation, edge AI, potential, services, data, effects and consequences and ML Ops.
Petra Dalunde is a speaker at the AI+ virtual conference 2020.