IFIP President to Raise Concerns About Artificial Intelligence at the World Standardization Assembly

Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems will be the focus when Professor Mike Hinchey, president of the global ICT professional association, IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing) presents at this week’s ITU World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-16) in Tunisia.

Professor Hinchey, who has worked with AI systems for over 15 years in his capacity as a consultant to NASA’s Space Program, will explore the question of, “How do we trust AI systems?”

Held every four years, the ITU WTSA defines areas of study for ITU-T, the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector, which helps to develop and promote global standards for critical telecommunications infrastructure. This year’s event includes a half-day session entitled, “ITU-T 60th Anniversary Talks on AI”, with Hinchey one of three keynote speakers.

Professor Hinchey, who is also Director of Lero, the Irish software research centre, Professor of Software Engineering at the University of Limerick and former Director of the NASA Software Engineering Laboratory, continues to consult to NASA’s Space Program. He applies AI in his work with swarm technology used in unmanned space exploration.

He said in today’s rapidly developing era of driverless cars, AI-enhanced shopping sites like Amazon and algorithmic trading on financial markets, many important decisions are made without human involvement.

While recognising the enormous investment being made in AI systems like driverless cars, Professor Hinchey said the jury is still out on whether these systems will ever be fully implemented.

He also questioned where to draw the line on preservation of life. “Of course, a self-driving vehicle will seek to protect its occupants, but what happens if the choice is between saving the person in the car or saving several people on the street. How does a robot decide without the benefit of human judgement?”

Professor Hinchey said more research is needed to understand the nuances of AI systems as their influence in our lives continues to grow.

ITU WTSA-16 runs from 25 October to 3 November in Yasmine Hammamet, Tunisia. For more information, visit http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/wtsa16/Pages/default.aspx

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