"It is necessary to develop a comprehensive artificial intelligence, ethical and responsible, in order to properly manage crises, and to be prepared for them ideally," says Amal El Fallah Seghrouchni.
A Moroccan expert on artificial intelligence (AI), Amal El Fallah Seghrouchni, is convinced AI is an essential tool in managing the COVID-19 pandemic while the world waits for an effective vaccine.
In an interview with Maghreb Arab Press, the newly-appointed member of the World Commission for the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST) at UNESCO, advocated for integrating digital technologies and artificial intelligence in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The international expert explained that, until there is a vaccine for the coronavirus, artificial intelligence could accelerate the discovery and development of drugs.
Beyond the COVID-19 crisis, AI can aid in identifying new potential threats, as well as assisting in generating new treatments and vaccines for future pandemics.
According to Seghrouchni, artificial intelligence can help regulate the epidemic by automatic monitoring of patients and remote checks while advising them on appropriate care measures.
Some countries have used advanced technologies in their response to the pandemic, Seghrouchni said. China used robots to make quick diagnoses, and remote drones in India evaluate whether the population is taking appropriate precautions.
By providing better data on climatic and environmental conditions, artificial intelligence can better predict the occurrence of certain diseases, control their spread, and improve the deployment of medical resources.
Seghrouchni, who specializes in “multi-agent systems,” said artificial intelligence can be modified to sensitize citizens to dangers and provide specific advice in the event of infection, with comprehensive and appropriate solutions for people in vulnerable situations and those with special needs.
To provide personalized information, AI’s conversion of text to voice and vice versa would better integrate technology thanks to high definition multimedia interfaces.
In a time of global lockdowns to curb the spread of the deadly virus, artificial intelligence has proven its importance, as developers create smart applications to continue social bonds.
Realizing science and technology are not “neutral,” Seghrouchni called for the establishment of clear and well-defined rules. “We must work to define an ethical and legal framework so that humanity can benefit from scientific progress.” As a member of COMEST, Seghrouchni is helping to develop ethical principles in science and technology.
Besides, the expert stressed, “It is necessary to develop a comprehensive artificial intelligence, ethical and responsible, in order to properly manage crises, and to be prepared for them ideally.”
AI, she said “is making a difference already” and “mobilizing major funds and investments … worth billions.”
But, the expert adds, “artificial intelligence should be integrated into national development policies and strategies in developing countries, drawing on cultures, local values, and knowledge, in order to develop economies, especially in the African countries.”
Along with her work at UNESCO, Seghrouchni is involved in revitalizing the focus of AI and data science research at the prestigious Sorbonne University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering.