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Artificial intelligence in business and the landscape in Cyprus

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The benefits, risks and actions required

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The impact of artificial intelligence on business occupied the 8th Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum with the theme “AI & Business: Creating Value, Minimizing Risks”, which took place on Tuesday (28/11) at the University of Cyprus. At the center of the discussion were the enormous changes that are expected due to the application of artificial intelligence, as well as the current actions and also the future actions required in order for humanity to take advantage of its potential, while at the same time avoiding the dangers that lurk.

The keynote speaker of the lecture, Professor of Decision Science and Technology Management, Theodoros Evgeniou, from the University of INSEAD – The Business School for the World, said that one of the biggest technological revolutions happened in 2015, when the accuracy of machines surpassed that of people. He expressed the position that what the planet needs are balanced innovations and that artificial intelligence can help, among other things, in better and faster diagnosis and treatment of diseases, in the digitization of transport for safer traffic on the roads, in reducing the negative consequences for climate, saving money, greener agriculture and fighting misinformation through access to more reliable content.

According to Mr. Evgeniou, the impact of artificial intelligence on the global economy amounts to trillions of dollars as the creation of artificial intelligence start-ups is increasingly increasing. In fact, according to research conducted by the Social Science Research Network, the quality of work of employees who used artificial intelligence tools at work, such as ChatGPT, increased by 40% and their productivity by 17%. Mr. Evgeniou pointed out that it is important for organizations and businesses to understand that the use of artificial intelligence inevitably leads to cultural and organizational changes, requires an adapted strategy and the choice of the right financing model, while it is also necessary to improve the digital skills of employees .

Mr. Evgeniou also referred to the risks created by the development of artificial intelligence and the need for a holistic approach, pointing out however that in recent years there has been an increase in regulations, at a global level, concerning technology and personal data. Risks include, among others, strategic threats to competitiveness, collection of citizens' personal data and the use of AI to target them, mapping tensions and exploiting social divisions with AI-powered propaganda, improved cyber attacks and the creation of malicious software.

Artificial intelligence and Cyprus

After Mr. Eugenios' presentation, a discussion followed on how artificial intelligence is shaping the business landscape in Cyprus, the growing opportunities it offers for local industries and the necessary policy frameworks to support this technological advancement.

Ms. Xenia Miskouridou, Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Cyprus, said that the country can benefit from artificial intelligence, as long as it becomes part of this journey and communicates in the best way the risks that exist. The goal, he emphasized, is not to replace people with technology but to give them a tool. “Europe is regulating the issue and there is a need for transparency and ethical use of new technologies. Governments must invest in Education, people must know how artificial intelligence works and prepare our youth for the businesses of tomorrow,” he said.

For his part, the CEO of SPP Media Group, Dimitris Lottidis, said that the European Union can regulate the issue of data used by artificial intelligence and the process is already underway. He emphasized that the support of governments is necessary and that we must be a pressure group towards the state in order not to be left behind in technology. In fact, he brought as an example the fact that most houses in Cyprus do not have solar panels, despite the fact that the country records the most hours of sunshine in Europe. He said this should have been achieved by now as the technology already exists. “Artificial intelligence can be a blessing for humanity or a nightmare. It is up to us to create the context, the ethics and the environment, so that we have her as a helper, but not as our ruler”, he noted.

Anna Prodromou, expert on DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) and Communications, stated that many sectors in Cyprus will benefit from AI, especially the banking and finance sector which seems to be closer to adopting AI tools. He expressed the view that the greatest challenge to humanity is habit and that it takes time to change the way things work. “We need to emphasize education, businesses to be open, to train and inform their workers, but also to improve our skills,” he said.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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