Barcelona City Council will implement twenty measures to ensure that the artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms it uses and those to come in the future work with an “ethical commitment” towards citizens. The Digital Innovation Commission will debate this Wednesday a document that provides for the creation of a public registry of algorithms, thanks to which citizens will be able to consult how municipal computer programs make decisions. The text also includes the setting up of an external advisory committee and a study to determine which administrative processes can benefit from AI.
The use of artificial intelligence in the City Council is still “incipient”, but it already has some pilot tests in the city, such as the processing of data captured by thermal cameras on the beaches. “They have made it possible to guarantee compliance with the capacity restrictions linked to the covid,” the measure document states. Another case is the automatic classification of complaints and suggestions sent by citizens in the electronic mailbox of the Consistory.
The public debate of the municipal measure coincides with the day that the European Commission plans to announce its strategy to regulate artificial intelligence to guarantee the privacy of citizens. Another risk of automatic learning systems is decision-making with “social biases (gender, race, income…)”, warns the Consistory, which only contemplates the use of AI in a way that serves to improve policy management public, in line with the idea of “technological humanism”.
The actions proposed by the City Council are to be deployed before 2023. That a human supervises the algorithms, that citizens have access to the code of the programs and an internal training program for municipal employees are other points of the report.
The text also explains that the City Council will promote the creation of the International Urban Artificial Intelligence Observatory, with the collaboration of the CIDOB think tank.
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