The Romania government has made history by being the first in the world to have deployed artificial intelligence (AI) as its new “honorary adviser” called Ion – a mirror-like structure with beeping interface.
Nicolae Ciuca, the Romanian prime minister, introduced Ion saying that it will quickly and automatically capture the opinions and desires of the country’s citizens. He said its main task is to scan social networks and inform the government in “real time” of Romanians’ proposals and wishes.
The PM described Ion as the first government adviser to use artificial intelligence. “I have the conviction that the use of AI should not be an option but an obligation to make better informed decisions.”
Give Romanians a Voice
Ciuca said the best Romanian researchers and professors in the field wanted to give a voice to Romanians. “It is a system that uses artificial intelligence to quickly and automatically capture the opinions of Romanians, and their grievances using the information available in the public space.” The PM believes this initiative is a joy. “It is an initiative of researchers, top professors in the field, companies and firms in the field.
Nicu Sebe, the coordinator of the research team, said Romanians will be able to send their ideas through an accompanying website, as well as on social media and some in-person locations. “Ion will then synthesize their contributions for the government to consider.”
The Research and Innovation Minister Sebastian Burduja explained that Ion will analyze the information it receives and draw up reports about Romanians’ priorities. However, a technology fellow at the Irish Council for Civil Liberties Kris Shrishak said the technology should be used with caution. He raised questions about how Ion will choose what it considers to be a priority from the messages it receives. Shrishak believes it should be explained to the public.