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AI-time, what does humanity need?

AI-time, what does humanity need?

Xenophobia, misogyny, racism, and other forms of discrimination end in new technologies, since at the end of the day, all the knowledge, every idea, that they have at their disposal, comes from us

The Future Congress, an event between January 15 and 20, was dedicated to democratizing access to information about science, innovation, and technology from Arica to Punta Arenas, in Chile.

What opportunities and risks does the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) present? 
How can to build an empathetic, democratic society that puts science and regenerative culture at the center? Does productive coexistence exist? Can machines and humans coexist? Are there viruses that can save our lives instead of harming us? What does it give us to understand the human genome in depth? Can AI predict the future just like crystal balls do in movies?

These and other questions were the ones that the Congress invited us to take a look at, to question and reinforce our ideas and values, to be restless, and curious, and not to impose limits on ourselves, especially in a world that is constantly changing. Because that's what science is about, right? Ask, study, prevent, and protect.

During the event, more than once I heard the phrase “We must be careful with AIs and rescue the human.” A phrase that came from people in the audience, as well as from some speakers. And I can't help but ask myself again and again: What exactly does it mean to rescue the human? What exactly does it mean to rescue humanity? Millennium after millennium, we have seen or read how our species destroys entire ecosystems, destroying each other, discriminating, hurting, and stealing. No other species is so capable of carrying out so many projects and, at the same time, being so destructive.
I try to constantly remind myself that we also have empathy, feel, and share affection. We form friendships, family, and safe spaces; we seek and deliver containment. As social creatures, we depend on and look out for one another to survive. But a large part of these beautiful and necessary characteristics is not only human. Is it not like this? Love and respect for others are expressed differently depending on the species, but their existence in nature is undeniable.

So, is it humanity that we want to protect when developing the tools of the future?

AIs are, at this very moment that you are reading this column, reader, adopting biases from human beings. Xenophobia, misogyny, racism, and other forms of discrimination end in new technologies, since at the end of the day, all the knowledge, and every idea they have at their disposal comes from us. The human being with his biases and preconceptions.

So, returning to rescuing what was human before, I hope they refer to everything positive that we give to the world, those characteristics that we share with other species, and what allows humanity to continue standing despite our differences.

Let's go back to talking about the democratization of information for a moment.

On February 11, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science was commemorated, with the news that this year female enrollment in STEM careers (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) increased by 16.8%. If it is about the democratization of spaces and tools to approach science and technology, we are undoubtedly changing for the better.
But as long as the gap still exists, unpaid care roles continue to impede access to school or university, and not everyone has the opportunity to choose due to stigma and bias, the fight will continue. At Tremendous, we remain firm in asking that girls, adolescents, and young people be guaranteed universal, safe, and informed access to technologies and AI, safeguarding their potential in our learning, the protection of our data, and the non-violation of our rights.

For 13 years, the Future Congress has invited us to question everything. This year, it was especially interesting to see the impact of choosing the CEINA cultural center as the host, a congress that seeks to bring science closer to citizens in the heart of Santiago. AI-time, what's left? Continue not only to question everything but to use that same hunger for knowledge and innovation to continue breaking down the gaps that continue to leave an important part of society outside of these spaces. We cannot discuss the future if we abandon those we love.

The future will be inclusive, intersectional, and multisectoral, or it will not be.

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