Wednesday, August 4

The Government proposes Spain as a pilot country for the audit of algorithms planned by the EU

Analyze each artificial intelligence (AI) system before it is implanted and creates an undesirable impact on society. It is one of the measures included in the draft Regulation on AI that the European Commission has proposed, aimed at creating the legal framework that prevents this new technology from accommodating unfair systems or systems with class, racist or sexist biases. The Government finalizes with the EU an agreement for Spain to be the pilot territory to test how regulations like that can be effectively implemented, the Executive has advanced this Tuesday.

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Sources from the Secretary of State for Digitization and AI (SEDIA) advance that the objective is “for Spain to position itself within Europe as a leader in the humanistic vision of technology and that everything we do, we do it anticipating its impact.” “We want to collaborate with the sector and try to promote significant changes in Spain”, have stated from the department headed by Carmen Artigas in a meeting with journalists in which has participated.

Several companies are in contact with the government to participate in this work and determine the best way to carry out public control of artificial intelligence. The Executive does not rule out that the pilot may lead to, for example, the creation of an independent regulator for algorithms in the style of the Spanish Data Protection Agency, whose mission is to monitor respect for the right to privacy of citizens.

The industry has welcomed the Spanish intention. “The big technology companies are absolutely collaborative with all this. There has been zero opposition,” they assure from SEDIA, framed in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation. “They understand that it is the best way to develop a sector that in Spain is still very incipient, to establish good foundations from the beginning, as in Europe”.

The first head of Government Data

SEDIA has announced the forthcoming agreement with the EU as part of a program of measures aimed at boosting digitization and the data economy in Spain. “We cannot unravel the development of AI without sovereignty over data, we have to allow data to be shared, but not in any way,” they explain.

One of the actions in this regard has been to establish in Spain a nucleus of GAIA-X, the European cloud project. Another, name a Chief Data Officer National (CDO), a Chief of Data. It is a position present in all technology companies but still contemplated by very few governments around the world. In Spain, this position will be held from now on by Alberto Palomo, until now responsible for the Data Science division at Avangrid, Iberdrola’s US subsidiary.

Palomo’s appointment was advanced early this Tuesday by Business Insider and SEDIA has confirmed this in its meeting with the media. “The first challenge for the CDO is to put Spain’s data strategy black on white, which is collected from a tactical point of view in different recovery projects but which also requires its own design,” they state from the Secretary of State.

Finally, the Government has announced that it will create an Observatory on the Social Impact of Algorithms (Obisal), framed in the National Observatory of Technology and Society (Ontsi). Led by Lucía Velasco (former head of the Cabinet of Artigas), its mission will be to prepare reports and studies on artificial intelligence systems in Spain and their impact. This body will also have an important role in the audit of algorithms contemplated by the so-called Rider Law, which Congress approved on June 10.

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