Misinformation, misinformation and propaganda are now happening on a massive scale and it is easy to target a world that is increasingly living in the world of social media, said the President of the Republic Nikos Anastasiadis, in his greeting this morning at the Conference of Ministers of Media and Information Society of the Council of Europe, entitled “Artificial Intelligence – Intelligent Policies: Challenges and Opportunities for Media and Democracy”, co-organized by the Council of Europe (CoE) and the Republic of Cyprus through of the Press and Information Office (PRS).
President Anastasiadis said that as dependence on Artificial Intelligence increases in today's information environment, it remains equally crucial to address its impact on the exercise of freedom of expression, which is a key element of any democratic society and pluralistic freedom-based media. of information and opinion.
“For this reason, we should not ignore the fact that cases of violence against journalists, cases of illegal arrests, cyber threats, harassment, intimidation, kidnapping and even murder are on the rise,” he said.
He added that the old notion that journalists were killed away from the limelight on battlefields covering wars was no longer valid.
President Anastasiadis said that last year's incidents show that the lack of security and integrity of people who provide us with news and information has no borders.
At the same time, another worrying fact must be emphasized – the fact that women journalists are being attacked more than their male colleagues, he added, stressing the need to create safe working conditions for all media workers, so that continue to practice their profession safely and independently.
President Anastasiadis said that during the pandemic crisis, journalists took on the most important role in communicating facts about COVID-19, while facing major professional challenges and difficulties – from health security issues to its serious economic consequences. pandemic and tackling misinformation.
False news, conspiracy theorists and vaccinators have been confusing all these months about health risks, based on, always, unfortunately, baseless allegations, he noted.
He pointed out that accurate and factual information was – and still is – the key to tackling this virus and the media industry remains the main source of reliable information.
The President of the Republic noted that while the benefits of artificial intelligence can be multiple, its presence raises legal, ethical, as well as political and economic complexities.
“On the one hand, Artificial Intelligence can enable a wider, faster and more targeted means of exchanging information and ideas worldwide. “On the other hand, the AI systems that are being developed can also influence the shaping and development of views, access to information and other fundamental aspects of individual autonomy.”
He said such a development opened the prospect of misinformation at a tremendous pace and scale. “Anyone can post or post an opinion or opinion, whether true or false, and promote that opinion in the information market,” he said.
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