Artificial intelligence at the heart of a vast citizen consultation in Occitania

If we achieve our goals, it will be the most important citizen consultation on artificial intelligence ever carried out in France.“, displays Olivier Auradou, the director of Ékitia, the future public interest group (GIP) which advocates an ethical data economy based in Toulouse. Inhabitants of Occitanie, young and old, digital professionals or no… all without exception are called upon to give their opinion on artificial intelligence.

Ékitia, the future GIP that advocates and develops an ethical data economy

To participate, it’s here:

“Three topics will be addressed, namely the respondent’s level of knowledge of artificial intelligence, its digital uses and its acceptability of AI. To address these topics, we are targeting four groups: middle school students, students, digital professionals and neophytes (ordinary people, editor’s note). There will therefore be a common core of questions then another part specific to each profile”, explains Anthéa Serafin, referent in data and AI ethics at Ekitia.

Confidential and anonymous, the questionnaire, for which it takes a maximum of ten minutes to complete it in its entirety, was established by a scientific committee. These designers promise a fun approach for participants while mixing the types of questions (binary, multiple choice, in order of preference and some open for a total of thirty questions).

Accessible to all inhabitants of the Occitanie region since Thursday, September 22, the survey is planned for a period of six months. Thousands or even tens of thousands of returns are expected. By way of comparison, the citizen consultation recently carried out by the regional council on “eating well” managed to mobilize 120,000 participants.

Take stock of knowledge about AI and gauge fears

Again, although the subject is different, the idea is to survey the inhabitants of the territory to discover their knowledge of the subject, especially in a region which is home to one of the four 3IA institutes, Aniti. As a reminder, their mission is to accelerate technological advances in this area, train professionals in AI and educate the general public on these subjects. Unsurprisingly, this Toulouse institute created in 2019 is associated with this citizen consultation.

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“Today, we have two difficulties in front of us. We do not know what the level of knowledge of the citizen on artificial intelligence is. In addition, there is a certain mistrust of the population with regard to the IA but we have trouble characterizing it concretely”, explains Gwenaël Kaminski, the consultation coordinator.

For years or even decades, human beings have always feared that one day they would be overtaken by the machine to the point of inscribing this idea in their customs, although experts are speaking out on this subject. like Luke Julia. But without knowing it, artificial intelligence is already omnipresent in our daily lives.

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“In reality, we have very little information on the functioning of an artificial intelligence. No one wants to find themselves dispossessed of their identity, their choices or their actions. Our role is therefore to enlighten citizens about these technologies so that they feel involved and participate in its improvement”, adds Nadia Pellefigue, the vice-president of the Occitanie Region in charge in particular of higher education and research.

Subsequent awareness-raising actions and orientation of public policies

Building the AI ​​of tomorrow together is the will displayed by Ékitia, Aniti, the regional council and the federal university of Toulouse with this initiative. Through this citizen consultation, “this is an opportunity to go further in learning AI and its development“, adds Nicolas Viallet, the COO of Aniti. To do this, it will be the scientific committee, which will be responsible for analyzing the responses, establishing avenues of work for public, private and institutional actors.

Once the analysis work has been carried out and the results known, the project leaders plan to carry out awareness-raising actions on artificial intelligence adapted to each of the audiences. A survey will also be produced, based on this consultation, on how AI has transformed the work of certain professionals. Finally, the results of the survey will be shared with the academic community, socio-economic and political decision-makers in order to “establish new guidelines to put AI and the use of data at the service of citizens“, concludes a joint press release announcing the start of this citizen consultation.

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