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AI Government

President of France Emmanuel Macron Talks About Nation's New AI Strategy (wired.com) 44

Earlier this week, Emmanuel Macron, President of France, pledged to spend $1.9 billion over the next five years and allow expanded data-sharing to help make France a leader in artificial intelligence. In an interview with Wired, Emmanuel Macron, President of France, explained why he is making big investments to bring France into the "winner takes all" race with the U.S. and China on artificial intelligence. An interesting quote, "At some point, as citizens, people will say, 'I want to be sure that all of this personal data is not used against me, but used ethically, and that everything is monitored. I want to understand what is behind this algorithm that plays a role in my life." An excerpt from the story: AI will raise a lot of issues in ethics, in politics, it will question our democracy and our collective preferences. For instance, if you take healthcare: you can totally transform medical care making it much more predictive and personalized if you get access to a lot of data. We will open our data in France. I made this decision and announced it this afternoon. But the day you start dealing with privacy issues, the day you open this data and unveil personal information, you open a Pandora's Box, with potential use cases that will not be increasing the common good and improving the way to treat you.

In particular, it's creating a potential for all the players to select you. This can be a very profitable business model: this data can be used to better treat people, it can be used to monitor patients, but it can also be sold to an insurer that will have intelligence on you and your medical risks, and could get a lot of money out of this information. The day we start to make such business out of this data is when a huge opportunity becomes a huge risk. It could totally dismantle our national cohesion and the way we live together. This leads me to the conclusion that this huge technological revolution is in fact a political revolution.

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President of France Emmanuel Macron Talks About Nation's New AI Strategy

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  • Transparency (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@nOspAm.world3.net> on Sunday April 01, 2018 @10:04AM (#56362745) Homepage Journal

    Alogrithmic transparency can only be a good thing. When AI makes a decision that affects you, you should have a right to understand how and why the decision was made, and to challenge it. That will prevent a lot of the problems we have already started to see with things like algorithmic sentencing of criminals.

    • Re:Transparency (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NettiWelho ( 1147351 ) on Sunday April 01, 2018 @10:13AM (#56362765)

      Alogrithmic transparency can only be a good thing. When AI makes a decision that affects you, you should have a right to understand how and why the decision was made, and to challenge it. That will prevent a lot of the problems we have already started to see with things like algorithmic sentencing of criminals.

      Seeing the decision being made is not enough, data-input needs to be fully transparent as well.

      • by kbahey ( 102895 )

        Not only a) the algorithm has to be transparent, and b) its data inputs, but also c) how the results will be used.

        See what Cathy O'Neill's says about the topic [youtube.com]. She wrote a book, called Weapons Of Math Destruction, on the subject, and it is scary.

      • The French don't need to worry about this, because it happens every decade or so: France is always super pissed that it isn't the leader of anything anymore, so it plays a game of "Yeah? Well, I'll make a better one, and you'll get so jealous!"

        During the previous decade, it was all about a search engine they called quaero, because they wanted to have a better Google than the USA. A few hundred million dollars later, nothing happened, just like what will happen here.

        Really, France is putting under 2 billion

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The AI thats design will be totally transparent to any investigating judge.
      What made the AI look at the persons account.
      The trail from that online activity to a persons ISP.
      To the resulting interview about what thy did online.
      From discovery to questioning, the AI will have total transparency about how much it helped the security services.
      The wrong music.
      The wrong cartoon.
      A funny joke about politics in France that was trending.
      Repeating a joke about politics.
    • Oh, right. Do you really think AI builders are really going to publish their algorithms for examination under the transparency banner?

      You greatly over-estimate the altruism of businesses and governments.

    • Whilst you can have access to the components, rule extraction can vary from difficult to impossible. In that sense "the algorithm" may not be available for scrutiny. With machine learning even buggy models or code can result in mostly reasonable classification behaviour.
    • Do you have algorithmic transparency for human decisions?

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Yes. For example, when applying for a mortgage the decision making process is highly regulated and an explanation of the refusal can be obtained challenged. It's not just some random bank employee's opinion.

        That protects the bank as much as the customer. The bank is going to want to understand the AI's decision too.

        • If it's done entirely by a formula, it's hardly one person's decision. If the formula can output a "maybe" then it totally is some random employee's decision, at least in the grey area. And frankly if he doesn't like the shape of your nose he's not going to say that.

          But of course you knew I was really talking about judges and sentencing.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            Lots of parts of the process are still based on judgement, but the process provides a framework for making those judgements. It's the same with sentencing, there will be guidelines for what increases the sentence above the base, what kinds of mitigating circumstances might be considered etc. And if challenged the person making the judgement will have to explain themselves.

  • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <`moc.stiucricve' `ta' `ive'> on Sunday April 01, 2018 @10:38AM (#56362861) Homepage

    Macron effectively said he is going to oppose the EU privacy framework in order to sell the data to the highest bidder under the guise of improving "AI", a system that thus far doesn't really exist, we've got some good classifiers but nothing remotely resembling intelligence.

  • by ebonum ( 830686 ) on Sunday April 01, 2018 @11:02AM (#56362925)

    This year Slashdot is off to a strong start!

  • Is it an April fool's joke or not? Macron is so good as talking nonsense that I cannot tell.

    One thing that makes me suspect it is a joke is that he talks about spending money. Angela would not let him do so.

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