Artificial Intelligence in Argentina
By Fabio Carlo
Artificial Intelligence, from now on AI, can be defined as the discipline addressed to the development of computational systems able to carry out task which would usually require human intelligence, such as visual perception, voice recognition, decision making, translation among different languages, big data, robotics, or the like. All the aforementioned is achieved by linking data via the so-called “machine learning”.
AI starts at the beginning of the 40´s of the past century, but it took worldwide relevance when an IBM machine, in 1997, defeated the former chess champion Garry Kasparov. In 2015, a software called AlphaGo used such “machine learning” to train, and defeated the human champions in the game of GO. Subsequently, a new software called AlphaGoZero was exclusively taught with the rules of the game and was made to compete against AlphaGo, wining all the games that took place.
With the advent of years, the AI has clearly begun to form part of our lives, and so we currently use platforms such as Netflix or Spotify which are based in our tastes, being able to speak with a digital assistant such as Apple’s Siri, which will respond our questions with outstanding effectiveness.
Now, how is Argentina positioned on this subject?
In this aspect, our country has proposed a National Plan of Artificial Intelligence known as ARGENIA, being its implementation date the year 2030. Such plan establishes the necessity of a national strategy to develop the AI in our country based on two initiatives: the Argentine Digital Agenda 2030, and the Science, Technology and Innovation National Strategy (STI or CTI in Spanish) Innovative Argentina 2030.
This plan has objectives such as maximize the country potential economic and growth impact, impulse the development of an inclusive and sustainable AI to generate a better life quality for people, minimize the risks the implementation of same might generate, stimulate the development of talent associated with AI, and promote, at a federal level, the implementation of AI.
The objective is quite ambitious, as it seeks to incorporate to the obligatory curricula of the 23 argentine provinces, priority programming learning cores plus artificial intelligent, the creation of AI specific grade and post-grade careers, to have highly formed and trained AI specialists which, in some cases, would imply the repatriation of professionals and the adaptation of a public-private reconversion program, among other objectives.
Is Argentina in condition of carrying out a project of such magnitude?
Several aspects must be taken into consideration. Let´s see:
- To achieve a convergence of public and private data in order to feed AI-based systems;
- To develop a supercomputing scheme or, in other words, a computing capacity necessary for the research, development and implementation of AI-based systems;
- To establish research, development and innovation basis (R+D+i or I+D+i in Spanish) from basic sciences that apply to AI and, consequently, generate processes addressed not only to the industry but also to unrelated disciplines such as, for example, law and social sciences;
- To develop the implementation of AI in the public sector in order to make it more efficient;
- To develop the implementation of AI in the private sector to increase its competitivity in all its areas;
- To minimize the negative impact on the people´s jobs, training the worker to generate an adaptation culture facing the technological change;
- To promote cooperation initiatives in bilateral and multilateral relationships to encourage the AI development;
- To promote the creation of innovation labs, i.e. spaces that promote the open innovation and the industry-AI bond; and
- To implement a consciousness and communication plan that broadcasts the guidelines of the AI National Plan.
All of the aforementioned items will be related to a predetermined AI which, according to the international context, will mutate by the year 2050 from the current Artificial Narrowed Intelligence (ANI) to an Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) wherein autonomous systems would be capable of abstract learning processes via different cognitive functions as humans do. In such sense, and to place our country in the international context, there are six prominent countries:
- USA has 40% of the worldwide market of AI-based companies in its territory, addressing to the development of talent and industry, to the promotion of research and development processes, and to the workers’ professional reconversion;
- Canada has created specialized AI centers to develop talents and promote investigation;
- China launched in 2017 a plan for self-position as a worldwide AI leader by 2030;
- France has emphasized on talent development as a hub of AI educational and investigation excellency;
- Japan works since 2016 in the promotion of AI-linked networks and promotes the research and development; and
- South Korea has emphasized on AI development for robotics.
Argentina, in view of the trends generated by these countries and within the ARGENIA plan frame, seeks to position itself as a regional AI leader by the year 2030. Will it be able to make it?
There are further aspects to be taken into consideration which will be the foundation of future articles.