Open letter to AI Startups and AI researchers

The actual COVID-19 crisis has a lot of lessons to teach us. And we have nothing learned from past pandemics. We’re just falling a downward spiral of human and economic depression. We are living with the hope that this fall will end soon and that we can recover fast. This remains to be seen but besides the many scenarios, we can say for sure that we (as EU to local administrations) were not prepared for the pandemic fight.

My criticism here is simple and only towards the AI field in which investors, CEOs, funding parties, stakeholders, must accept the failure in serving the vital interests, human needs and a failure to set these priorities. In old programming therms, it’s like we are developing a nice GUI, with no good business logic, no solid platform, obsolete middle tier connections. There is no way to advance here until we are not addressing the base layers.

Every single AI researcher should from now on follow a new AI ethic book and focus on what is essential first. The AI research field is so stretched in a multitude of domains and situations while no field excels actually. You can imagine how would have been if all the concentrated AI efforts were to be focused on health-care, fully automated hospitals and personal-care assistants & anti-virus development first. And only after that worked, to try to develop AI based sex-dolls, what a shame to all of us!

I feel myself uneasy now, regretting that I should have pursued what I started in the first place, AI medical informatics with agents that help fight addictions and the build of persuasive personal agents to help for a better healthy life of the individual. With the good AI.

In a hope that this crisis does not deepen and throw us in a new AI stone age we were just escaping, I expect that things will change, and a better evaluation of our AI priorities will be taken into consideration. Maybe a new AI authority will have to take the helm and supervise the further development.

C.Stefan – March 2020.