Cyprus’ National Strategy on Artificial Intelligence to be ready in a month, House President tells forum in Shanghai

Cyprus is already putting in place its National Strategy for the development of Artificial Intelligence that should be completed within a month, House President Demetris Syllouris said on Tuesday speaking at the 2nd Honggiao Economic Forum in Shanghai.

Addressing a workshop entitled Artificial Intelligence and Innovative Development: Ideas, Technology and Markets, Syllouris noted that the aim of the National Strategy is to establish applications to support the technological development of Artificial Intelligence in all domains (universities, public and private sectors), and to further advance the requisite skills and expertise required for all Artificial Intelligence and human resources in organizations and businesses alike.

We want to create a sound ethical and trustworthy foundation for the development of Artificial Intelligence and build an international network of cooperation through the participation of Cyprus in EU initiatives and beyond, Syllouris stressed, assuring that Cyprus is striving to make the most of our country’s high tech and startup companies through diligence and trustworthy alliances, so that it can become a nexus for the development of Artificial Intelligence platforms.

Moreover, he noted that responding to the challenges of our times, the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus has organized three conferences dedicated to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The aim was for the Parliament to act as a catalyst, so that Cypriot society finds itself ready to fully appreciate, participate and capitalize upon these ground breaking developments, Syllouris said.

He went on to say that as a result of these Conferences, considerable progress has been achieved in developing the blockchain technology in Cyprus and that a National Strategy for Decentralized Technologies has already been adopted.

The House President noted that Artificial Intelligence should not be regarded as a threat to human life, nor as an alternative to life as we know it. We see it rather as a driving force for economic growth, increase in productivity, better diagnoses in the health sector and the development of pioneering therapies for incurable diseases, as well as for more sound weather forecasting, a better anticipation of problems emanating from cyberspace and, more generally, for a better quality of human life, he noted.

He also said that Artificial Intelligence should not be viewed merely as an attractive asset, but rather as an opportunity for the transformation of the whole planet, much like the world was previously transformed by the steam engine and electrical power.

Syllouris noted that we must ensure that the use of these technologies does not erode social or labour rights, as more and more work is relegated to man-machine teams or robots. We should also ensure that our workforce is properly and timely educated, so as to adapt and be able to either match these challenges or find alternative job openings. We need to define the red lines that cannot be transgressed and to elaborate on ways to counter unwanted side effects and keep an eye on methods that could result in discriminative practices or exacerbate inequalities, he stressed.

He also underlined that in order to embrace the change and seek pragmatic improvement in the functioning of our societies, comprehensive regulatory frameworks need to be put in place, so as to minimize any potential costs. Proactive and responsive policies need to be implemented and digitalization policies coordinated, so as to safeguard welfare and the degree and quality of human intervention, at every level. We must ensure full respect for human dignity, the House President noted.

Syllouris and members of the Cypriot delegation visiting China at the invitation of the National People’s Congress also attended on Tuesday the opening of the 2nd China International Import Expo, at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, and visited the Cypriot pavilion.

The delegation comprises MPs Nicos Tornaritis, Yiorgos T. Georgiou, Christakis Tziovanis, Yiorgos Prokopiou, Elias Myritanthous and Michalis Giorgallas. Member of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency Board of Directors Nicolas Theocharides also participates in the delegation.

Syllouris and the members of the delegation also had a meeting with the Chairman and a delegation of Chinese telecommunications company ZTE.

Source: Cyprus News Agency