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Romanian Government’s AI Robot Speaks At Oxford University

The ‘Advancing Governance with AI’ discussion examined the ethical implications of using artificial intelligence as a citizen representative

The ION AI physical 'robot' at the University of Oxford. (Image source: Humans.ai)

Independent research initiative ION has developed the first AI government adviser, employed by the Romanian government to represent its citizens. Now, the AI has visited Oxford University by the Oxford AI Society to participate in a special discussion, ‘Advancing Governance with AI. Exploring Romania’s ION project’. During the discussion, project developers presented technical aspects and spoke on the ethical implications of using AI as a citizen representative.  

Jessie Jiang, Oxford AI Society President said, “Having the ION project presented to the OxAI community at Oxford was an enriching experience. This Romanian AI initiative spurred engaging discussions among our students and underscored the impact of AI on governance. We explored the potential of the ION project and our participants couldn’t get enough of it. We’re all excited to see what’s next for this game-changing tech!’

The ION AI robot collects data from citizens

The Romanian research community and ION developed the AI robot free for the Romanian government. Romania uses the AI robot to collect requests and problems from the population and advocate for them to the government. ION uses top-of-the-line AI, natural language processing and complex computer vision techniques to accurately collect the opinions of Romania’s citizens.

The ION AI robot processes all messages through ion.gov.ro and social media. To protect citizens and make certain the platform is used ethically, all messages are gathered anonymously. Beyond software reporting via the ION app, the AI also has a physical robot installation. The AI robot interacts with Romanian citizens at public events and gathers data.

Nishen Menerapitiya, a member of the Events and Media Team at Oxford AI Society said, “Witnessing the ION in action was an absolute delight. Its interactions were seamless and learning more about the technology behind it was truly eye-opening for me and our society members. I genuinely look forward to following its progress and the profound impact it will have on advancing AI governance worldwide. It’s exciting to think about the changes it will bring to our global community.”

Written By

Jack Brassell is a freelance journalist and aspiring novelist. Jack is a self-proclaimed nerd with a lifelong passion for storytelling. As an author, Jack writes mostly horror and young adult fantasy. Also an avid gamer, she works as the lead news editor at Hardcore Droid. When she isn't writing or playing games, she can often be found binge-watching Parks & Rec or The Office, proudly considering herself to be a cross between Leslie Knope and Pam Beasley.

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