TFTD 2023: Artificial Intelligence fields that Greece could become a leader in

Greece and Europe need to face the new reality created by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and take steps in the fields of increasing computing power, intelligent algorithms and data, Yannis Mastrogeorgiou, Special Secretary for Strategic Foresight at the Presidency of the Government of the Hellenic Republic, said on Thursday during the Thessaloniki Future Thinking Dialogues (TFTD 2023) conference, held in Thessaloniki.

Europe is lagging behind in computing power, he underlined. Mastrogeorgiou pointed out that Open AI, the creator of the large language model ChatGPT, has 25 times more computing power than the British government. He also stressed the importance of placing emphasis on intelligent algorithms.

According to Mastrogeorgiou, organisations such as “Demokritos”, which – as he said – is doing an excellent job, offer Greece the possibility to move forward and be distinguished in fields that are usually considered exclusive to other countries, such as Machine Learning and Data.

Greece could also play a leading role in the issue of ethical principles for the use of IT, as it has a centuries-old tradition in the field of philosophy and ethics.

He added that Artificial Intelligence, especially generative AI, is here to stay and that in the next several years we will be living with its “intelligent assistance.” He  also noted that in the near future we will probably have the anagram of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in IA (Intelligent Assistance), for everything produced by man.

The Special Secretary for Strategic Foresight at the Presidency of the Government of the Hellenic Republic explained that the pandemic has created new conditions, with people having crossed the threshold of a new digital world to work, play and live – even those for those people that such a thing was not considered self-evident.

“People can now use very important tools to get help. What I think we all need to understand is that IT needs skilled people to make it work and develop, and that it is an industry that anyone can be involved in and find something to do with it. It is worth noting that there is no need to have specific IT knowledge. AI gives you the possibility to control and strengthen more what you already have as a background,” he underlined and added that Greece can do the same, that is to use AI to see how it can obtain added value in areas that constitute its comparative advantages, such as tourism and culture.

However, Mastrogeorgiou stressed the need for the education systems, which are designed based on obsolete models, to be updated and enhanced while people need reskilling and upskilling. He estimated that approximately 1.5 billion people need reskilling and upskilling by 2030 and not just learn to code but start to understand in a different way how they can become more productive using AI tools.