How to navigate the ethical landscape of artificial intelligence

How to navigate the ethical landscape of artificial intelligence

How to navigate the ethical landscape of artificial intelligence
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In a world increasingly governed by algorithms and artificial intelligence, ethical considerations have become paramount. As society hurtles toward an AI-driven future, we stand at a crossroads where technological innovation intersects with moral responsibility. It is at this juncture that we must engage in a candid conversation about the implications of AI on our lives, our societies, and our humanity.

As the late renowned physicist Stephen Hawking once warned: “The rise of powerful AI will be either the best or the worst thing ever to happen to humanity.” This dichotomy encapsulates the profound stakes involved in the rapid advancement of AI technology. On one hand, AI has the potential to revolutionize industries, enhance productivity, and improve quality of life. On the other, it raises a host of ethical dilemmas that demand urgent attention and thoughtful consideration.

In this series of articles, we embark on a journey to explore the multifaceted relationship between AI and ethics. From the ethical implications of autonomous vehicles to the challenges of algorithmic bias in healthcare or defense practices, we will delve into the complexities of AI ethics and their real-world ramifications.

At the heart of this discussion lies the fundamental question: What kind of future do we want to create with AI? As we entrust machines with increasingly complex decision-making capabilities, we must ensure that they align with our values and respect our shared humanity. This necessitates not only robust technical solutions but also a deeper understanding of the ethical principles that should guide AI development and deployment.

One pressing ethical concern revolves around the issue of fairness and equity in AI systems. As algorithms wield unprecedented power in shaping our lives, they also have the potential to perpetuate or exacerbate existing biases and inequalities. Whether is in lending decisions, law enforcement practices, or healthcare algorithms, the risk of reinforcing societal prejudices looms large. Addressing these biases requires a concerted effort to design and deploy AI systems that prioritize fairness, transparency, and accountability.

Moreover, the rise of AI raises profound questions about the nature of work and human dignity. As automation accelerates, millions of jobs are at risk of displacement, potentially widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots. How do we ensure that technological progress benefits all members of society, rather than concentrating wealth and power in the hands of a privileged few? These are ethical dilemmas that demand a re-evaluation of our social and economic structures in the age of AI.

These are ethical dilemmas that demand a re-evaluation of our social and economic structures in the age of artificial intelligence.

Rafael Hernández de Santiago

Furthermore, the pervasive influence of AI on our daily lives raises concerns about privacy, autonomy, and individual liberty. From facial recognition technologies to predictive analytics, the collection and analysis of vast amounts of personal data raise thorny ethical questions about consent, surveillance, and control. How do we strike the right balance between innovation and privacy, between security and freedom, in a world where every click leaves a digital footprint?

As we embark on this exploration of AI and ethics, it is crucial to recognize that there are no easy answers or quick fixes. The intersection of technology and morality is a complex terrain fraught with nuance and uncertainty. Yet, it is precisely in grappling with these complexities that we reaffirm our commitment to ethical principles and human values in the face of technological progress.

In the words of philosopher Edmund Burke: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” As we stand on the threshold of an AI-driven future, let us heed this admonition and engage in a proactive dialogue about the ethical dimensions of AI. Only through collective vigilance, informed debate, and ethical reflection can we navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Join us in this series as we embark on a journey to unravel the ethical conundrums of AI and chart a course toward a future that is not only technologically advanced but also ethically sound and morally just.

• Rafael Hernández de Santiago, viscount of Espes, is a Spanish national residing in Saudi Arabia and working at the Gulf Research Center. He holds a doctorate in ethics and artificial intelligence, a master’s degree in international relations, and a certificate from the leadership program for public management at IESE. He has wide professional experience in general and institutional management, business development, international management, strategic management, and international relations, both in the private and public sectors.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point of view

Tourist couple injured in shooting in India’s Kashmir amid elections

Tourist couple injured in shooting in India’s Kashmir amid elections
Updated 54 sec ago

Tourist couple injured in shooting in India’s Kashmir amid elections

Tourist couple injured in shooting in India’s Kashmir amid elections
  • Condition of Indian couple from Jaipur city is said to be stable, police say 
  • India is in a marathon election with two Kashmir seats to be contested on May 20, 25

SRINAGAR: A tourist couple was injured in India’s Kashmir after militants fired on them late on Saturday night, police said, ahead of voting scheduled in the volatile region for India’s ongoing election.
The couple from the Indian city of Jaipur was evacuated to the hospital and the area where the attack took place was cordoned off, Kashmir police said on social media. The condition of the injured tourists is said to be stable, they said.
India is in the middle of a marathon election with the remaining two seats in Kashmir going to polls on May 20 and May 25.
Voters turned out in large numbers for polling in the first seat in Srinagar on May 13, reversing the trend of low vote counts in the first polls since Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed the region’s semi-autonomy in 2019.
Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is skipping elections in Kashmir for the first time since 1996 saying it will support regional parties instead.
Major parties in Kashmir, the National Conference and People’s Democratic Party (PDP), have focused on restoration of semi-autonomy in their campaigns.
Analysts and opposition parties say the BJP is not contesting elections in Kashmir because it fears the outcome will contradict its narrative of a more peaceful and integrated region since 2019.
In a separate incident, unknown militants shot dead former village headman and BJP party member Ajiaz Ahmad Sheikh in Shopian district on Saturday.
The last major attack on tourists in Kashmir had happened in 2017 when a Hindu pilgrimage bus was targeted, killing eight people.

Sky’s the limit: Saudi Arabia’s Future Aviation Forum 2024 will help fuel Kingdom’s Vision 2030 

Sky’s the limit: Saudi Arabia’s Future Aviation Forum 2024 will help fuel Kingdom’s Vision 2030 
Updated 11 min 29 sec ago

Sky’s the limit: Saudi Arabia’s Future Aviation Forum 2024 will help fuel Kingdom’s Vision 2030 

Sky’s the limit: Saudi Arabia’s Future Aviation Forum 2024 will help fuel Kingdom’s Vision 2030 

RIYADH: Aviation leaders and key figures from across the globe will convene in Riyadh for the Future Aviation Forum 2024, a three-day event highlighting the strides in global air travel innovation, coinciding with Saudi Arabia’s ambition to generate $100 billion from the sector by 2030. 

The event, centered on the theme “Elevating Global Connectivity,” will unite more than 5,000 experts and leaders in aviation from over 100 countries, including ministers, regulators, and manufacturers, as well as representatives from airlines and airports. 

Led by the General Authority of Civil Aviation, the event is set to take place from May 20 to 22 and will highlight various projects and incentives aimed at attracting investments into Saudi Arabia’s rapidly growing aerospace sector. 

This includes investment projects across areas such as airports, airlines, and ground services, as well as cargo, and logistics, which will be highlighted on the sidelines of the forum’s Investment Showcase. 

The $100 billion in opportunities includes more than $50 billion earmarked for airports, around $40 billion for new aircraft orders, and $10 billion allocated to other projects. 

Building on the success of the 2022 edition, which witnessed the signing of over 50 agreements and deals totaling $2.7 billion, this year’s forum will showcase commercial announcements alongside roadmap presentations and specialized panel sessions focusing on general aviation. 

Minister for Transport and Logistics Services Saleh Al-Jasser will inaugurate FAF24 and said: “Saudi Arabia is offering unparalleled aviation investment opportunities globally. The Saudi Aviation Strategy aims to triple passenger numbers, connect to over 250 destinations, and manage 330 million passengers and 4.5 million tonnes of cargo by 2030.” 

The Investment Showcase at the forum will be inaugurated by the Minister of Investment Khaled Al-Falih. 

“Saudi Arabia is the world’s new investment hub, targeting $3.3 trillion in investment by 2030. Aviation is a key investment sector and enabler of the Kingdom’s broader economic transformation,” Al-Falih said, according to a press release. 

He added: “The aviation investment showcase will provide investors with unparalleled access to participate in the Kingdom’s transformation.” 

The showcase will include investor briefings, meetings, and panels on major projects including the massive six-runway King Salman International Airport in Riyadh and public-private partnerships for the Abha, Taif, Hail and Qassim international airports. 

It will also feature opportunities in cargo and logistics, advanced air mobility, and business aviation. Aviation suppliers will be briefed on expansion plans for the new airline Riyadh Air, as well as leading regional airlines including Saudia, Flynas, and Flyadeal. 

The main sponsors of the forum include Saudia Group, Matarat, King Salman International Airport, and Saudi Air Navigation Services. 

Global aviation executives from companies including Boeing, Airbus, Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, and Embraer will also attend the event. 

Additionally, GACA is set to unveil a General Aviation roadmap setting how to increase the sector’s contribution to Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product tenfold to $2 billion by 2030. 

The plan covers the business jet segment, including charter, private, and corporate aircraft, and will support Saudi Arabia’s development as a global high-value business and tourist destination. 

The new roadmap comes after Saudi Arabia revised its 2030 tourism target upwards from 100 to 150 million visitors in October 2023. 

“The General Aviation roadmap will turbocharge the sector within the Kingdom, transforming infrastructure and regulations, simultaneously developing, promoting, and enhancing general aviation services in the market,” said Abdulaziz-Al Duailej, president of GACA. 

He added: “GACA looks forward to hosting general aviation investors, operators, and service providers at the Future Aviation Forum in May, where we will launch this ambitious plan to global audiences.” 

The roadmap is designed to bolster private aviation by facilitating infrastructure investments and streamlining regulations for aircraft owners, lessors, investors, operators, and service providers. 

This initiative comes after GACA’s decision to eliminate ‘empty-leg restrictions’ and simplify economic license requirements for operators and investors in October 2023, aimed at enhancing the general aviation sector.  

The event will also cover industry themes including business, talent and the future, collaborations, and ecosystems, as well as sustainability, innovation, and technology. 

High-level speakers such as Fadi Al-Buhairan, CEO of Special Integrated Logistics Zone, Gaith Al-Gaith, CEO of FlyDubai, and Mohammed Al-Maghlouth, CEO of Matarat Holding, are set to participate in the forum. 

Suliman Al-Mazroua, CEO of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, Bander Al-Mohanna, managing director and CEO of Flynas, and Fahd Cynndy, CEO of Saudia Technic are also due to take part. 

Following the opening remarks on the first day, the panel titled “Ministerial Speech: Sky High Tourism – Unlocking Destinations and Cultural Exchange Now and in the Future” will take place, followed by a special conversation with Boeing and a spotlight session on the New Future of Aviation.  

The event will then highlight the future of airports and logistics with the plenary sessions “Airports Council International Special Address: Airports of the Future” and “Insight Piece: Navigating Tomorrow – Customer Focus, Digitalization, and AI as Enablers for the Future.” 

The first day will also address securing the future of human capital in aviation with the sessions “Cargo and Logistics Town Hall: An Era of Growth, Evolution, and Opportunity” and “Aviation Human Capital Now and for the Future – Meeting Our Industry’s Most Critical Challenge.” 

On the second following the key address, a conversation session with Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China will take place followed by a panel exploring what is the “Future of Sustainability in Aviation and Tourism.” 

It will then highlight a panel discussion on “Privatization, Investment and Funding – The Evolving Financial and Infrastructure Landscape,” which will then be followed by a conversation with Embraer. 

The second day will spotlight the future of civil aviation with the sessions “Global Civil Aviation Spotlight: Tonga and Nepal,” “Civil Aviation Authority Director General Panel: Aviation – Accelerating from Economic Enabler to Sustainability Champion,” and an insight piece on “How Safe Are Our Skies.” 

The third day will feature interactive workshops on assistance for aircraft accident victims and their families. 

Saudi Arabia’s RSIFF hosts ‘Women in Cinema’ gala in Cannes

Saudi Arabia’s RSIFF hosts ‘Women in Cinema’ gala in Cannes
Updated 31 min 49 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s RSIFF hosts ‘Women in Cinema’ gala in Cannes

Saudi Arabia’s RSIFF hosts ‘Women in Cinema’ gala in Cannes
  • Rosie Huntington Whitley, Richard Gere, Minnie Driver, Alexa Chung, Uma Thurman and Eiza González attended the event, among other international celebrities

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea International Film Festival (RSIFF) hosted the “Women in Cinema” Gala in partnership with Vanity Fair Europe in Cannes on Saturday, attracting celebrities from across the world.

The glitzy gala dinner took place after RSIFF presented the “Women in Cinema” panel discussion during the Variety Global Conversations event earlier in the day.

The panel featured Egyptian actress and model Salma Abu Deif, Indian actress Kiara Advani,  Thai actress, model and singer Sarocha Chankimha (also known as Freen), Saudi actress Adhwa Fahad, Saudi singer and actress Aseel Omran, and French-Senegalese director Ramata Toulaye-Sy. The talents spoke about their early beginnings, their career breakthroughs and their sources of inspiration during the panel talk.

Those stars and many more attended the evening’s festivities at the iconic Hotel Du Cap.

“The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” actress Eiza González, model Ikram Abdi, supermodel Naomi Campbell and actress Dorra Zarrouk were among the star-studded guest list.

Rosie Huntington Whitley, Richard Gere, Minnie Driver, Raya Abirashed, Alexa Chung, Wallis Day, Lucas Bravo and Uma Thurman also attended the event. 

“The Red Sea International Film Festival (#RedSeaIFF) and Vanity Fair Europe reunited to host the #WomenInCinema Gala, championing the achievements of rising female talent on both sides of the camera who are reshaping the film industry in Saudi Arabia, Africa, Asia and the Arab world,” the Red Sea Film Foundation posted on Instagram.

Saudi Arabia is playing a key role at the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, having supported four projects that are screening at the event.

“Norah,” “The Brink of Dreams,” “To A Land Unknown” and “Animale” will screen as part of the Un Certain Regard, Directors’ Fortnight and Critic’s Week programs at Cannes. The Red Sea Film Foundation supported the projects through the Red Sea Fund and the Red Sea Souk.

RSIFF CEO Mohammed Al-Turki has been spotted on multiple red carpets throughout the event so far and walked the opening night’s red carpet alongside Jomana Al-Rashid, CEO of the Saudi Research and Media Group.


Polling for NA-148 by-election in Pakistan’s Multan underway

Polling for NA-148 by-election in Pakistan’s Multan underway
Updated 36 min 33 sec ago

Polling for NA-148 by-election in Pakistan’s Multan underway

Polling for NA-148 by-election in Pakistan’s Multan underway
  • Ex-PM Yousaf Raza Gillani vacated NA-148 seat after getting elected Senate chairman 
  • Tough competition expected between SIC’s Taimur Malik and PPP’s Ali Musa Gillani 

ISLAMABAD: Polling commenced for Multan’s NA-148 on Sunday, state-run media reported, with thousands expected to cast their ballots in today’s by-election. 
Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani won the NA-148 constituency in Multan in the contentious Feb. 8 national election. However, Gillani had to vacate the seat after he was elected to the post of Senate chairman in April. 
A total of 444,231 registered voters in the constituency are expected to exercise their right to cast votes in 275 polling stations and 933 polling booths set up for the polling exercise. Pakistan’s election regulator has set up 485 polling booths for men and 448 for women, state-run Radio Pakistan said.
Voting commenced at 08:00 a.m. and is expected to continue till 5:00 p.m.
“People in good numbers are arriving at the polling stations to cast their votes at the earliest due to hot weather,” Radio Pakistan said. 
“Comprehensive security arrangements have been made for free, fair and transparent polls.”
Eight candidates including the Imran Khan-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) leader Taimur Malik and Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Ali Qasim Gillani are vying for the seat.
The Feb. 8 election was marred by a countrywide shutdown of mobile phone services. The results of the polls, which were declared unfair by Khan and his PTI party, threw up a hung parliament in which no political party emerged with the majority to form its government.
Khan’s PTI, which formed the largest bloc in the National Assembly after winning over 90 seats, said it won a two-thirds majority but was denied victory by Pakistan’s election regulator, accusing it of manipulating votes. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) denied the allegations and so did the caretaker government.

Tourists wounded in deadly Afghanistan shooting stable — hospital 

Tourists wounded in deadly Afghanistan shooting stable — hospital 
Updated 19 May 2024

Tourists wounded in deadly Afghanistan shooting stable — hospital 

Tourists wounded in deadly Afghanistan shooting stable — hospital 
  • Group of tourists was fired at while shopping in mountainous city of Bamiyan on Friday 
  • Attack first deadly assault on foreign tourists since Taliban’s return to power in 20221

KABUL: Tourists wounded in an attack in Afghanistan which left three Spaniards and three Afghans dead were in a stable condition, a hospital said Saturday, as a survivor described the horror of the shooting in an open market.
The group was fired on while shopping in the bazaar in the mountainous city of Bamiyan, around 180 kilometers (110 miles) from the capital Kabul, on Friday.
French tourist Anne-France Brill, one of the dozen foreign travelers on an organized tour, said a gunman on foot approached the group’s vehicles and opened fire.
“There was blood everywhere,” the 55-year-old told AFP from Dubai, where she landed Saturday after being evacuated from Kabul with two Americans.
“One thing is certain,” she said, the assailant “was there for the foreigners.”
Brill, who works in marketing and lives near Paris, said she helped collect the bloodied belongings of her wounded fellow travelers before a Taliban escort brought them to the capital, where they were taken in by a European Union delegation.
The attack is believed to be the first deadly assault on foreign tourists since the Taliban returned to power in 2021 in a country where few nations have a diplomatic presence.
The bodies of those killed were transported to Kabul overnight Friday, along with the wounded and survivors, after bad weather made an airlift impossible.
Italian NGO Emergency, which operates a hospital in Kabul, received the injured who it said were from Spain, Lithuania, Norway, Australia and Afghanistan.
“The wounded people arrived at our hospital at 3:00 am (2230 GMT Friday) this morning, about 10 hours after the incident took place,” said Dejan Panic, Emergency’s country director in Afghanistan, in a statement.
“The Afghan national was the most critically injured, but all patients are now stable,” he added.
Spain’s government on Friday announced that three of the dead were Spanish tourists.
Its foreign ministry said one of the wounded was also a Spanish woman, who had been seriously injured and underwent surgery in Kabul.
The dead included three Afghans — two civilians and a Taliban member, the government’s interior ministry spokesman Abdul Mateen Qani said.
Local officials said the civilians were working with the tour group, while the Taliban security official had returned fire when the shooting broke out.
“Overwhelmed by the news of the murder of Spanish tourists in Afghanistan,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez posted on social media platform X.
The bodies of the dead would likely be brought back to Spain on Sunday, the country’s foreign minister Jose Manuel Albares said on Spanish public television TVE.
Spanish diplomats were headed to Afghanistan from Pakistan and Qatar, where the Spanish ambassador to the country is currently based.
The Spanish embassy was evacuated in 2021, along with other Western missions, after the Taliban took back control of Kabul, ending a bloody decades-long insurgency against foreign forces.
Spanish authorities have also been coordinating with a European Union delegation in the capital.
Interior ministry spokesman Qani said seven suspects had been arrested, “of which one is wounded.”
“The investigation is still going on and the Islamic Emirate is seriously looking into the matter,” he added.
There has not yet been a claim of responsibility.
The EU condemned the attack “in the strongest terms.”
The United Nations mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, said it was “deeply shocked and appalled by the deadly terrorist attack” in Bamiyan, adding it had provided assistance after the incident.
The Taliban government has yet to be officially recognized by any foreign government.
It has, however, supported a fledgling tourism sector, with more than 5,000 foreign tourists visiting Afghanistan in 2023, according to official figures.
Western nations advise against all travel to the country, warning of kidnap and attack risks.
Alongside security concerns, the country has limited road infrastructure and a dilapidated health service.
Multiple foreign tourism companies offer guided package tours to Afghanistan, often including visits to highlights in cities such as Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif and Bamiyan.
Bamiyan is Afghanistan’s top tourist destination, once home to the giant Buddha statues that were blown up by the Taliban in 2001 during their previous rule.
The number of bombings and suicide attacks in Afghanistan has fallen dramatically since the Taliban authorities took power, and deadly attacks on foreigners are rare.
However, a number of armed groups, including Daesh, remain a threat.
The group has waged a campaign of attacks on foreign interests in a bid to weaken the Taliban government, targeting the Pakistani and Russian embassies as well as Chinese businessmen.