Minister Koritnik says public trust key in introducing AI

Brussels/Ljubljana, 28 April - Slovenian Public Administration Minister Boštjan Koritnik has told a forum hosted by the Brussels subsidiary of Microsoft that public trust was the necessary condition for effective, rapid and successful introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) in a wide spectrum of areas where it might bring extraordinary effects.

At the online event called Data Science & Law Forum 3.0, Koritnik as one of the key speakers also talked about Slovenia's achievements in this field, the Public Administration Ministry said in a press release on Wednesday.

The minister said that AI had a great potential in sustainable development of society, while cases of use pointed to the increasing concern due to the possible malicious influence.

"For this reason, we strive in Slovenia that development and coexistence with AI-based systems are focused on the human. The highest ethical standards need to be secured in the process," he added.

Koritnik pointed to a number of respected scientists from Slovenia who work in almost a hundred international research teams.

One of the results of their work is the opening of the UNESCO-sponsored International Research Centre on Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI), based at the Jožef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana.

Officially opened at the end of March, the centre provides an open and transparent environment for research and debate on AI and advises governments and organisations on systemic and strategic solutions in introducing AI, the minister added.

Koritnik also presented the emerging national AI programme which looks to introduce AI "in a way in which development and use of all systems will be intended to the greatest possible extent for creating welfare for people and society."

The minister also touched on infrastructure required for a facilitated introduction of AI, noting that Slovenia had so far been neutral regarding ideas in the EU about establishing various connectivity systems, for example 5G for autonomous cars.

As for data, the minister noted that Slovenia was recognised for its infrastructure for free access to public sector data, adding that its development was leaning towards integration with data from the private sector, the ministry said.