Science and Technology

Conference “Democracia 4.0” focused on Artificial Intelligence

The president of Técnico was one of the invited speakers, and the most enthusiastic one, in a stimulating debate on Artificial Intelligence.

Professor Arlindo Oliveira, president of Técnico, was one of the invited speakers of the conference “Democracia 4.0” organised by the Representation of the European Commission in Portugal and the European Commissioner Carlos Moedas, held this Tuesday, May 8, at the rectory of Universidade Nova de Lisboa.

The rule of law and fundamental rights, the impact of technology in our lives, young people’s political alienation, participatory democracy, the dangers and opportunities of Digital, freedom of expression and disinformation as well as artificial intelligence were some of the topics addressed by national and international experts.

One of the main goals of this conference was to inspire young people to use technology everyday showing how it can contribute to improve democracy. In this way, a debate under the topic “Inteligência Artificial para Decidir Humanamente” was held, bringing together the president of Técnico, Janosch Delcker, POLITICO‘s Artificial Intelligence correspondent and Catelijne Muller, president of the study group on Artificial Intelligence at the European Economic and Social Committee. The debate was moderated by João Pedro Pereira, journalist at PÚBLICO.

The president of Técnico explained that there are three types of AI: “The first one is data analysis, which has existed for many years; the second one is automatic learning, and autonomous driving is an example of it; then the most complex level of Artificial Intelligence is to match the flexibility and learning capability of the human mind”. According to Catelijne Muller “It’s obvious that the routine tasks of certain jobs are more susceptible to automation”. The president of Técnico agreed and added that “creativity is the most difficult human faculty to automate, so creative jobs will be the most difficult to replicate”.

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner and Técnico alumnus, closed the session. “It is important that the new generation is interested in politics because the future is in their hands”, said the European commissioner. Although “we still fear technology”, we should face the future and learn how technology can help us. “The European Commission’s proposal for research and innovation spending for 2021 – 2027, announced last week, is €100 billion”, said the European commissioner.

“Robots will always do better than humans but they still lack emotion, creativity and intersection of disciplines, which will be increasingly valued, so we must concern ourselves on this”, said Carlos Moedas.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the President of the Portuguese Republic, attended the conference and congratulated the European commissioner for organising this event that “allowed that many people could interactively participate in this conference besides the audience”.