Egils Levits
Valsts prezidenta Egila Levita uzruna tiešsaistes studiju kursa “Mākslīgā intelekta elementi” atklāšanā

Good afternoon,

Congratulations to organisers of the Elements of artificial intelligence campaign and our Finnish partners.

This extensive and ambitious project will allow about 20 thousand Latvians access free online course introducing them to artificial intelligence and its implications on our life.

So far, artificial intelligence (AI) is the next and probably the ultimate stage of technological development in the history of mankind.

However, in terms of research into artificial intelligence and application of AI, we are only at the beginning of this road. That is why it is so important to understand want AI is, how it works and what are its potential uses.

We need to critically assess in which cases AI can help us achieve more. We need to be able to tell what we do not need apart from what we want. That is why we need to know how AI really works.

We know that AI can help us reach, for example, better health outcomes; we can upgrade various technologies and devices to make better use of AI and make it work for us.

At the same time, despite potential advantages, we must also identify areas that should remain free from artificial intelligence. It largely depends on our understanding of what it means to be human, humane, what rights we have as humans, what personal freedom means and how to preserve autonomy of will.

To be able to answer all these questions, we must first understand how AI works.

That is why this project is so essential. Together with our Finnish partners we will be able to raise public awareness about these issues here in Latvia.

We will be able to better understand the best and most efficient uses of AI – identify areas in which AI is needed, can make a difference and help achieve better results, and also areas where use of AI should not be allowed because it entails massive risks, contradicts our fundamental values and understanding of who we are as humans. That is what we all expect.

Once again, thank you for this initiative. Thank you for this project. And good luck!