On January 27th of this year, the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (“MinCiencias”) shared a preliminary version on what will be the Roadmap to ensure the ethical and sustainable adoption of AI in Colombia.
The document still does not set forth specific requirements and/or obligations, but focuses on the current situation regarding new technologies, and the general principles that should be considered for their development.
Therefore, the roadmap is divided into 5 main focus areas, to ensure the ethical and sustainable adoption of Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) in Colombia:
According to MinCiencias, the adoption of AI in Latin America has been a key issue on the agenda of many countries in the region. However, despite progress, significant challenges have been identified that hinder the effective implementation of AI governance. Therefore, the roadmap focuses on the need to ensure a sustainable and ethical development and implementation of AI systems in Colombia, always respecting citizen´s rights.
For this, the roadmap reiterates the importance of privacy, transparency, responsibility, accessibility, and justice for users; and suggests establishing and strengthening the legal and regulatory framework for AI in Colombia. This involves creating laws and regulations addressing ethical issues, responsibilities, and rights related to the implementation and use of AI.
According to MinCiencias, AI’s impact on disadvantaged groups is a major concern. Pursuant to a study carried out by the World Economic Forum, AI-driven automation has been shown to affect these groups, displacing them from their existing jobs; therefore, it is anticipated that 44% of workers’ core competencies will change in the next five years due to the increase in tasks performed by machines.
The Roadmap suggests combining inclusive education with ethical support measures to ensure that AI contributes to equality instead of accentuating disparities. The aim is to promote an education model focused on competencies to seize opportunities and address challenges in this new labor and educational paradigm. Additionally, it suggests the creation of specialized research and development in AI in collaboration with educational institutions and companies.
According to this Roadmap, one of the most important challenges on the ethical development and implementation of AI is thew exchange and processing of information. Furthermore, MinCiencias states that entrusting data to the private sector may generate risks related to privacy, ownership and misuse of information. Furthermore, the ethical implications of the personal data processing in the field of AI becomes critical due to improper handling of this information, which could trigger the segmentation and discrimination of specific sectors of the population.
Thus, the Roadmap proposes cross-sector collaboration to create ethical and regulatory frameworks regarding data processing and governance. The participation of society will maximize benefits and mitigate risks associated with access to and exchange of data for digital transformation.
According to MinCiencias, the use of these new technologies is perceived as a strategic opportunity for countries. For Colombia, this change may represent an opportunity to transform itself into a potentially developed country.
Hence, new advances represent a unique opportunity for Colombia to boost its economic development and improve the quality of life of its citizens. However, facing the challenges identified will require a joint effort and a long-term vision. The adoption of Industry 4.0 is not only a technological issue, but also a cultural and educational change that will define the future of the country in this new industrial era.
Some of the actions already taken in Colombia to promote significant advancements in AI include CONPES 3975 of 2019, Law 2069 of 2020, and Decree 1732 of 2021.
According to MinCiencias, the application of AI in security and defense has transformed the way governments and armed forces deal with contemporary challenges. From intelligence gathering to strategic decision making, AI has proven its worth in a number of areas crucial to national security. However, these advances are not without ethical, legal and strategic challenges. Real-time analytical capabilities and system autonomy raise questions about responsibility and accountability in autonomous operations.
Therefore, this Roadmap aims to positively impact the lives of citizens through the development of AI-based solutions addressing security, social, economic, and environmental issues innovatively and ethically. This supports the fulfillment of goals proposed in the National Development Plan and Sustainable Development Goals.
Additionally, the Roadmap highlights the five main barriers hindering the successful adoption of AI in Colombia: i) limited availability of skills, knowledge, or experience in AI; ii) high costs; iii) lack of tools or platforms to develop models; iv) project complexity; and v) data complexity.
Finally, MinCiencias mentions a list of proposed innovations to achieve the planned goals in this Roadmap, which we recommend reviewing.
Please note that this is a preliminary document of the roadmap, receiving comments until February 6 of this year through this link.
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