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Interview project with Dr Katerina Zalamova
On the sidelines of the conference “AI Tech Spirit 2020”, held on February 25 and 26, 2020 in Barcelona, Lte magazine present at the event asked a few questions to Mrs. Katerina Zalamova, who was kind enough to accept to answer them despite her busy schedule. Katerina Zalamova, is academic director of the Blockchain Institute of Technology in Barcelona. Serial entrepreneur with startups on smart infrastructure and AI applications. Member of several Spanish and international organisations such as the European AI Alliance.
Q1How did the entrepreneur community mobilize in a short time for the organization of these technological forums everywhere in Barcelona and this following the cancellation of the MWC of Barcelona 2020?
R: After the news about the cancellation of the MWC 2020 in Barcelona, the entrepreneur community has been mobilized through Telegram groups where in the next few days’ people organized to take action and build an alternative agenda to the announced by GSMA as MWC-4YFN 2020. In the following weekend, 8 groups about specific topics were created and those groups canalized the events in that new agenda. One of those groups was the AI Tech Spirit which founder Oriol Ribera wished to have a unique space only dedicated to Artificial Intelligence.
I’ve been building my experience organising events since 2015. Then, I offered my knowledge and help to the group because AI is one of my passions and concerns. I strongly believe that we need, today, a wide public debate about the impact of the AI technologies in the daily live of the citizens. Then, creating the AI Tech Spirit was a great opportunity to accomplish this goal.
Q2. Your « AI Tech Sprit 2020 » forum on AI organized on February 25 and 26 was a success given the number of quality personalities who attended the event. Will there be a sequel after this event?
R: As organizers, we are very happy with the result of the event. We received a lot of positive feedback from the audience, which confirmed that the content was interesting and relevant. The next steps, we already have opened a list for speakers for the second edition of the event in 2021. In this moment, we have the confirmation of one sponsor and 3 speakers which give us motivation to work for AI Tech Spirit 2021.
Also, in the next months, we are creating the Barcelona AI Think Tank- a group of highly involved in AI technologies people who want to discuss and work about the concepts and challenges of the AI applications.
Q3. We talked during these two days about new technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence. Are these new technologies adapted to the needs of consumers and businesses?
R: At the event, we have successfully shown that those technologies are mature enough to be commercial products, although, there are many challenges ahead to reach a well implemented technological level.
Q4. According to you what are the challenges of AI?
R: In my opinion, the most challenging for AI is the awareness of the developers about the impact of the AI product over the user freedom. It is very difficult to foreseen all possible application of one product and how it can limit the personal choices of the user. This is why, I am happy to have a public debate about the impact of the AI technology over wide aspects of our daily live.
Q5. Finally, should we be afraid of artificial intelligence?
The technology always is neutral. As in the past, we should be vigilant about the motivations of its promoters. I believe there are many positive benefits for the humanity then we should not be afraid of the artificial intelligence. However, we need to work harder than the past to educate a society, which can understand and correctly evaluate value propositions with AI from businesses and governments.
Interview conducted by Ahmed Khaouja in English