1 April 2022

Artificial Intelligence as a driver of digital transformation in the context of society 5.0 – where are we heading?

The future of artificial intelligence is the main topic of a conference organised on 17 March in Brussels by the Business & Science Poland (BSP) Employers’ Association in cooperation with the Chancellery of the Prime Minister for Digitalisation, the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the European Union and the National Centre for Research and Development.

The seminar aimed to explain the role of artificial intelligence in digital transformation and the development of the 5.0 society. During the debate, the invited guests presented the point of view of Polish entrepreneurs, society, science, and the public sector on particular challenges and opportunities related to the use of AI algorithms that the EU is currently facing.

Artificial intelligence is the future of almost every sector of the economy. It is associated with the need to adapt to the pace of technological change, ensure optimization and increase the efficiency of industrial processes, and make advanced use of big data. It is also a huge potential for innovative processes in the financial sector. At the same time, artificial intelligence brings with it a number of challenges not only of a strategic, business, and technological nature but also of an ethical and legal nature. The BSP Union of Employers, together with its member companies and partners, has decided to include this topic in the scope of substantive work in order to participate in the process of creating an EU regulatory framework for the stable and secure development of AI for companies operating both in domestic and competitive global markets.

Justyna Romanowska, Head of the Department of Digitalisation, welcomed the guests to the debate on behalf of Ambassador Andrzej Sados.
Minister Janusz Cieszyński – Government Plenipotentiary for Cyber Security emphasized that cyber security issues are particularly important in the current situation related to the war in Ukraine. – Artificial intelligence mechanisms are the driving force behind digital transformation, supporting the development of new services and helping to fight disinformation – said Cieszynski.
Artur Zasada – President of the Board of the Employers’ Union Business & Science Poland (BSP) thanked the co-organizers of the event – Minister Janusz Cieszynski, Government Plenipotentiary for Cyber Security, and Ambassador Andrzej Sados – Permanent Representative of Poland to the European Union. He also referred to the prospects for the development of artificial intelligence.

We welcome the intention to make the EU a leader in the development of safe and trustworthy artificial The new regulations aim to build trust in AI systems on the one hand and to promote investment in and development of this technology on the other. It is in the interest of the European Union to maintain its technological leadership and ensure that Europeans can benefit from new technologies designed and operated in accordance with EU values, fundamental rights, and principles. We understand that the proposed regulations are intended to ensure security and respect for the fundamental rights and values of the EU. – commented on the prospects for the development of the SI.

The European Commission’s proposals are intended to guarantee the safe use of artificial intelligence and increase investment in this area. Conference participants pointed out that artificial intelligence can be compared to invisible assets and its impact on creating added value for companies and, consequently, entire economies should be studied in depth.

The first panel on good practices for the development of AI in the Polish economic ecosystem was opened by Mr. Robert Kroplewski, Plenipotentiary of the Minister of Digitalisation for the Information Society and Director of the Digital Future Industry Platform, a new government initiative. – The Digital Future Industry Platform is a new medium and an opportunity for the economy. Artificial intelligence not only brings the future closer but also builds consensus on the same values and brings solutions for business, including experience and knowledge. The platform brings together transformational leaders. Among them are both entrepreneurs and various types of organizations – added Kroplewski, at the same time, invited representatives of the administration and private sector entities to actively participate in the development of the platform.

The Digital Future Industry Platform was established in order to strengthen the competencies and competitiveness of enterprises operating in Poland, by supporting their transformation towards Industry 4.0. – We act to strengthen the business ecosystem created by Polish manufacturing enterprises. We pursue this objective by creating mechanisms for cooperation, knowledge sharing, and building trust in relations between market players involved in the digital transformation process – emphasised Kroplewski.

In the next panel, representatives of BSP member companies – PKN Orlen and Polskie Porty Lotnicze – presented examples of using AI algorithms. Aleksandra Trojanowska, Head of Strategic Projects Department at PKN Orlen, stressed that digitalization is a driver and accelerator of energy transformation, a green, zero-emission industry. – By using data, it is possible to reduce CO2 emissions by 35%. Digital tools create new business models, allow to connect service providers with customers thanks to which they ensure more sustainable development and respond to current climate trends – added A. Trojanowska. TThe latest expert report of PKN ORLEN is devoted to this subject “There is no decarbonization without digitalization. Sustainable development needs digital technologies”, which goes beyond the simple aspects of digitalization and comprehensively shows what two trends have in common: digitalization and sustainable development.

We believe that these two trends are closely linked and will drive each other. The development of a zero-carbon economy is primarily influenced by the application of technologies related to the development of renewable energy sources (RES). Digital tools will accelerate the decarbonisation process. It is digitalisation that will accelerate the growth of a green, zero-carbon industry. In this report, we describe how the industry’s digitalisation solution “Przemysl 5.0” support decarbonisation, added Aleksandra Trojanowska.

Grzegorz Zajączkowski (Digital Champion of the EC for Poland, Polish Airports expert), on the other hand, stressed that one of the most important tools for implementing artificial intelligence in the industry is experimentation using regulatory sandboxes. – Sandboxes enable low-cost testing of all potential challenges and benefits of implementing this technology. The model of regulatory sandboxes itself is included in the draft AI ACT directive as an important element of algorithmic evaluation infrastructure – said G. Zajączkowski. Polish Airports are implementing a project based on artificial intelligence by implementing a sandbox in the area of optimization of handling and passenger traffic. In doing so, they are using advanced AI algorithms along with re-use of available data from all port systems.

Professor Piotr Sankowski, President of IDEAS NCBR, spoke about the key role of science in the creation of artificial intelligence in Poland. IDEAS NCBR is a research and development center operating in the field of artificial intelligence and the digital economy. It is to be the largest platform in Poland friendly to innovative research related to the practical application of AI and commercialization of solutions and algorithms. An important element of the functioning of IDEAS NCBR is the cooperation with universities and scientific institutions, as well as training a new generation of scientists specializing in the field of artificial intelligence is one of the foundations of the centre’s activity.

The second part of the conference was devoted to the use of artificial intelligence in line with respect for human rights. – The digital single market remains a political priority, especially as the digital transformation is to be based on a well-functioning cross-border market for services to bring real benefits to all our regions – stressed Adam Bielan, MEP, member of the special committee on artificial intelligence in the digital era (AIDA). – The AI law should strike a balance between protecting fundamental rights and ambitious goals, without unnecessary burdens. It is important to regulate in a way that does not stifle technological innovation, ensuring that EU companies are highly competitive at a global level in the development and implementation of AI. Legislation should be innovation-friendly while being understandable to citizens and safe – he added.

The regulation of artificial intelligence is one of the priorities of the French presidency of the EU Council. – Artificial intelligence brings incredible opportunities, accelerates innovation, complements human skills, responds to key challenges and provides solutions to climate change – said Michael Reffay, representative of the French presidency – Machines are taking over human skills, therefore AI must be transparent and responsibly managed – he added. Paul Nemitz, Principal Adviser to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice, Professor of Law, College of Europe, stressed ethical issues: “European regulations in the field of AI should be the best, reliable and credible. They should meet ethical criteria, and respect human rights. We need to invest in ethical solutions. Our goal is, as with GDPR, that leading company outside the EU model themselves on European standards and respect our laws,” he added in his speech. -The most important thing is to set standards for the use/application of artificial intelligence algorithms – said Maciej Chojnowski, Programme Director, Centre for Technology Ethics at the Humanities Institute (CET). The Centre for Technology Ethics (CET) is a Polish non-governmental organisation promoting responsible, human and environmentally friendly innovation. CET was established in January 2021 and is run under the auspices of the Humanites Institute. It is the first organisation in Poland to focus directly on the ethics of technology. The entire event was chaired by Matthew Newman, mLEX.

The Business & Science Poland continues its work in the area of digital policy.
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