Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Mexico

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"We are in a new era, the cognitive era", said Guruduth Banavar, Vice President of Research and Chief Science Officer for Cognitive Computing at IBM-New York, at the seminar Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Mexico held last March 15.
"The intention to incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a cognitive assistant doesn’t mean trying to substitute the human being for a machine, but to collaborate. Some jobs will disappear; however, others will be transformed and new ones will emerge”, said the expert to senior managers, researchers and coordinators of institutions interested in technological development in Mexico at the auditorium Eugenio Méndez Docurro of the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT).

During his conference The Future of Artificial Intelligence, its potentialities, benefits and impacts in countries like Mexico, Guruduth S. Banavar explained that with the use and implementation of AI, all industries could undergo significant transformations that reduce time and costs. However, this doesn’t imply the substitution of human capacities, but the combination of these with the capabilities of the machine, so we speak of a new era, which he calls the cognitive era.

About the long-term possibilities of using AI, the expert pointed out that "we still don’t know how much we don’t know". In addition, he said that 90% of the data we know today was created in the last two decades, so that later, and considering all the additional information and the one that’s generated in platforms such as social networks or blogs, for example, the challenge we’ll face will be increasingly demanding.
Another element in the practical application of AI relates to teaching, mentioned the IBM expert, because it’s necessary to rethink the educational systems of all specialties to provide the new generations with skills to adapt to the new technological requirements, one of them, he added, must do with the ability to work in conjunction with machines.

At the event, which was organized by CONACyT and the Scientific and Technological Advisory Forum with The United States-Mexico Foundation for Science (FUMEC), Guillermo Fernández de la Garza, Executive Director of the Foundation, said that Mexico has to be prepared for the new scenarios, as we are living a time of changes due to the Internet, and the next transformation that may be even more important is derived from AI.

Enrique Cabrero Mendoza, Managing Director of CONACyT, transmitted a message that was read by Dr. José Antonio Lazcano, Deputy Director of Technological Development and Innovation of the same agency, where he mentioned that AI represents one of the greatest advances in knowledge, and it’s a duty for institutions, companies and scientists to know, deepen and understand its benefits and impact on the life of societies.

On the other hand, Jorge Antonio Villegas, Deputy Director General of the Coordination of Science, Technology and Innovation in the Office of the President of the Republic, said that young people should be prepared for the future that is already here. "We all know that innovation and scientific and technological development are fundamental elements in the development and competitiveness equation, and our country still has to make considerable progress in this area", said Villegas.

José Franco, General Coordinator of the Scientific and Technological Advisory Forum, commented that one of the objectives of the meeting was to create a space for reflection and discussion on new technologies and their social and economic impact to promote sustainable development in Mexico.

In the presentation by Luis Enrique Sucar, Researcher in the Department of Computation of the National Institute of Optics and Electronics (INAOE), the importance of Mexican students to develop computational thinking was highlighted.

Dr. David Kershenobich, Managing Director of the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition "Salvador Zubirán", spoke about the importance of the quality of the data that should be collected for the joint work with the AI ​​and the context in which Is developed to understand its possible applications.

Luis Alberto Muñoz, Chief of the Plenum Group's Innovation Office, also highlighted the relationship that should exist between industry, academia, and the public sector and noted the importance of creating IA centers to encourage their development in Mexico. He said also that it’s necessary to take advantage of the tools that technology has developed to boost the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Finally, Efrén Flores, director and conductor of the program Radio Formula, Business Strategy, together with Fernandez de la Garza, talked about the role of the media in the dissemination of science and technology, and how important it’s to communicate what happens in these sectors of Mexico. They pointed out that it’s important that the media become allies of institutions such as those present in that seminar as well as the business sector.




With information from the FCCyT and CONACYT

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