Today, the National Assembly hosted a public hearing with the topic: Artificial intelligence and man in the new digital era, organised by the Committee on Education, Science, Technological Development and the Information Society.
The Chairperson of the Subcommittee on the Information Society and Digitalisation Marina Ragus greeted the participants, opening the public hearing with a video dedicated to Academician Dr Muamer Zukorlic, Chairman of the Committee on Education, Science, Technological Development and the Information Society. Ragus said that Committee Chairman Muamer Zukorlic was the initiator of a whole series of public hearings on digitalisation and the approach that should be taken toward the rapid growth and development of technologies. She reminded the attending that the main reason for this gathering was to answer the question of the position of man in the digital era, which was also the wish of Committee Chairman Dr Muamer Zukorlic. She said that the main question this topic raises is whether technology will rule people or work in the interest of man. She once again took the opportunity to thank the late Chairman of the Committee on Education, Science, Technological Development and the Information Society Dr Muamer Zukorlic for everything he achieved in his mandate.
In his introductory address, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Dr Vladimir Orlic said that when the Subcommittee started the series of public hearings it took on a huge task concerning the most current issues. "Issues such as digitalisation, modern technologies, modern services, are primarily aimed at people and should serve them, be used to make people's lives easier and better. These issues are an integral part of state policy today, and it is always good to repeat that. State policy, pursued in our country at all levels, starting with the highest - from the President of the Republic Aleksandar Vucic, through the Government of Serbia which follows this policy and the National Assembly which introduces the policy into our state system, as well as works on its implementation, responsibly and dedicatedly. That is the policy of modernisation of our state and our society ", said the Deputy Speaker.
He added that together we show that there is a difference between politicians, that is, that people who care about Serbia today, unlike those in the past, know how to learn and follow world trends and apply them in our country. "And we are not satisfied with the team that we have just repeated something we saw in the world, but we are always working to make things even better and adapt them to the needs of our people. To make our people happy, to make their lives better, and to compete with others in what we have learned and to work together with them. This shows the difference between today's state and what it was like in some past times. "
He added that, though artificial intelligence is a topic of the future, the modern centres, best equipment, new educational programs and institutes we have today, along with numerous services introduced in previous years in our country, are already a reality.
"Serbia has shown that it is ready to work hard for its present, to change and improve society and the economy, as well as take care of its future. That is why we welcomed this year as a country that has an artificial intelligence strategy, is one of the few in the world that has established an institute for artificial intelligence and has launched a platform at the State Data Centre in Kragujevac." He reminded the attending that not long ago, the President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic attended the launch of this platform and visited the State Data Centre in Kragujevac, built and equipped according to the highest world standards. "We showed that there is a policy that understands that we should work on our future, that is not afraid of this topic, but rather motivates society to move in that direction. In Kragujevac the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic clearly said that with these solutions we give young people a fantastic reason to stay in their country, they do not have to go abroad to study the most modern subjects in schools, do research or start a business concerning new technologies. They can do that now in their own Serbia. We give young people the opportunity to build their future in their country, and we give many of our people who left at some point a good reason to come back. We have made significant progress in these fields. For us, the answer to the question of where man stands in the digital era is - we always stand where we can to fight for ourselves. That is the policy headed and defined by President Aleksandar Vucic and implemented by the Government and the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, and then the people of Serbia look back to this time in a couple of decades they will doubtlessly say: that is the policy that changed Serbia for the better, improved people’s lives in the country and gave us the right to say – Serbia is the world”, said Orlic.
National Assembly Assistant Secretary General Dario Kukolj presented what the National Assembly has done in the field of information technologies and artificial intelligence, reminding the attending that the first Strategy for the Development of the Information Society in Serbia was adopted in 2010 and, recognising its capacity in the field from the very beginning, the National Assembly had begun to develop and invest in its own IT infrastructure. He presented in detail all of the National Assembly’s activities in the previous five years.
In his introductory address, the Director of the Office for Information Technology and eGovernment Mihailo Jovanovic spoke about the activities of the Office and plans for the future, while the Director of the Institute for Artificial Intelligence, Novi Sad, Prof. Dr Dubravko Culibrk explained the importance and potential of artificial intelligence for the Republic of Serbia.
In the second panel, the attending were addressed by Professor of the Faculty of Management, Metropolitan University, Dr Tamara Vucenovic and editor of the show "Digital Icons", who spoke about the media and artificial intelligence, as well as program coordinator of the Open Society Foundation Nevena Ruzic who spoke about artificial intelligence and civil rights.
Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Education, Science, Technological Development and the Information Society Prof. Dr Marko Atlagic addressed the assembly on the topic of the educational function of personality and artificial intelligence, while member of the Committee on Education, Science, Technological Development and the Information Society Prof. Dr Ljubisa Stojmirovic spoke about ethics and politics.
The presentations and panels were followed by a debate attended by a large number of MPs, members and deputy members of the Committee on Education, Science, Technological Development and the Information Society.
The public hearing was organised with the supported of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).