May 07, 2024 #ChileDemocratic

With more than 100 actions committed to by 2026, Minister of Science presents new Artificial Intelligence Policy

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The new guidelines emerged from a participatory process with 300 people in person in six regions and an online citizen consultation that had 600 responses and broad support for the proposed content. It includes 177 actions -one hundred must be fulfilled during President Boric's administration- and biannual monitoring of their progress by 14 ministries.

"Unlike what happened with other waves of transformation, this time Chile does not sit back and wait: Chile decides to be a protagonist". With these words, the Minister of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, Aisén Etcheverry, presented today the document that will guide our country in the development and adoption of Artificial Intelligence for the next four years and that, in her opinion, puts the country at the forefront of the ethical and responsible adoption of this technology. 

Training new talent, improving infrastructure, training citizens, boosting industry and creating research funds dedicated to AI are some of the topics included in this update of the AI Policy, whose first version was published in 2021 and allowed Chile to reach the leading position it has today in the field, according to the Latin American AI Index.

The announcement by the Ministry of Science covered a plan that, among other things, encompasses different areas in which each ministry is to operate.

Given the impact that this technology is having on people's lives since the irruption of generative AI, the new version delves into the topics of Governance and Ethics. To build it, the opinion of more than 300 people was collected using Unesco's RAM methodology, which collected gaps and positions of different actors in working tables in 6 regions. In the online public consultation, which was available for 2 months, more than 600 people participated and citizens validated most of the advances proposed therein: the categories "Strongly agree" and "Agree" varied between 91.7% and 78.3%.

Special support was given to the incorporation of five new sub-axes: International Articulation, Environment and Climate Crisis, Inclusion and Non-Discrimination, Children and Adolescents, Culture and Heritage Preservation.

The announcement took place in the Patio de Las Camelias of the Palacio de La Moneda, in the presence of the Director General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alberto Van Klaveren, the Minister of Cultures, Arts and Heritage, Carolina Arredondo and the Minister of Agriculture, Esteban Valenzuela. Also in attendance were numerous academic authorities, technology experts and representatives of some of the more than 100 public services that are already applying AI.

Minister Etcheverry highlighted the impact of AI on the country's economic and productive development: "Today, when we look at companies in Chile, 24% of micro-enterprises, 30% of SMEs and 35% of large companies are incorporating Artificial Intelligence and this has an effect on productivity and is part of the President's economic growth agenda," she said .

Unesco's director general, Audrey Azoulay, emphasized that Chile is the first of the Latin American member states to have completed the preparatory assessment and translated it into concrete actions: "Chile today is a world reference in terms of ethical progress because it has accepted the recommendations to protect personal data, strengthen the existing legal arsenal, increasingly include a diversity of profiles at all levels in the design of algorithms, and in particular female profiles and the third and final challenge, is infrastructure and investing more so that everyone has access to high-speed internet and for cybersecurity," she said.

Biannual deadlines for Action Plan measures

The Action Plan presented includes initiatives as diverse as a cadastre of technological infrastructure in AI, research funds for the use of AI for efficient energy consumption (MinCiencia), incentive to employment with AI tools (MinTrabajo), policies and guidelines to protect children, children and adolescents (Mideso), assessment of the impact of AI on culture, creative industries and cultural heritage (MinCulturas), create AI policies in cybersecurity (MinInterior) and establish ethical standards for the publication of databases on health issues (MinHealth).   

Of the 177 measures, which can be reviewed in the Action Plan, there are one hundred that have a deadline of 2026. According to the commitment already made by the respective ministries, they must be fulfilled during the current government of President Gabriel Boric.

Claudia López, an academic from the Computer Science Department of the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María and associate researcher at CENIA valued the emphasis on AI education from a critical perspective and aimed at children, adolescents, workers, public officials and decision-makers. "Several new areas that seemed to be less cared for in the previous policy, employability, culture and digital violence, among others, are addressed, suggesting an attention to the opinions expressed during consultation meetings and surveys open to the public. The breadth of this framework for action reflects the complexity of artificial intelligence and its growing influence in various areas of everyday life," he said.

Check the original note on the Ministry of Science website.


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