Global digitalisation and artificial intelligence are currently some of the most important trends in the technological field. However, as experts from various fields point out, there is an important question regarding the balance between technology that helps and technology that replaces. Are technological advances merely a way to speed up processes and reduce costs, or can they also be used to save the planet? The answer was sought at the 4th TOGETAIR 2023 International Climate Summit.
As Justyna Duszyńska, coordinator of the Digital Transformation Research Group in the Łukasiewicz – ORGMASZ Research Network, emphasises, digital solutions give us great opportunities. Artificial intelligence is one of the tools that allows us to collect and process data, and based on this data we can make more rational decisions, which is crucial in terms of climate protection.
Prof. Gertruda Uścińska, President of ZUS, points out that digitisation progress is something fantastic from the point of view of the development of the state and its citizens. As part of the reform introduced at ZUS in 2018, it was possible to move away from paper documents and create a digital platform, which made it possible to speed up processes and convince doctors to work electronically.
On the other hand, Antoni Rytel, deputy director of the GovTech Poland Programme, who unfortunately was not present during the discussion, notes that artificial intelligence and digital technologies can be useful in various areas, for example in agriculture or water management. Thanks to them, we can more accurately predict the effects of climate change and take appropriate action.
Marta Gromada, head of the data confectioning team at the NASK, on the other hand, notes that technology can help people work, not replace them. Computers can perform certain tasks, allowing employees to focus on more creative and valuable tasks. Veronica Czaplewska, vice-president of Envirly, sums up the discussion by pointing out that technology is a tool that can be used in a variety of areas, but should never be seen as a replacement for humans. It is first and foremost about moving people into other areas of activity, not replacing them with machines.
Are we relying too much on technology?
Nowadays, it is hard to imagine life without technology. Mobile devices, the internet, artificial intelligence, blockchain – these are just some of the many modern tools that have dominated our lives in recent years. However, do we depend too much on them? Has technology become our master and us its slaves?
As Anna Duszyńska, an expert on new technologies, points out, we are already largely managed by algorithms. We should use technology, but at the same time think about how we use it, how we ourselves live and the relationship between technology and humans. We should not put all the responsibility on the tools, but approach them with caution and knowledge.
Marta Gromada from NASK stresses that trust in tools and ethical issues are very important. Of course, technological solutions are very useful and improve many aspects of life, but we should not forget about the long-term effects of these activities. We should also not shift the responsibility to the
user, but rather to act responsibly and with our heads.
Safety is a key issue that should accompany our use of technology. Duszyńska emphasises that today security is not just a question of using devices or software, but also a question of the environment. We need to think about how technology can help us achieve our environmental goals
environment and how we can minimise its impact on the environment.
The topic of carbon footprint is still science fiction for many, as Marta Czaplewska notes, but this is gradually changing. Many companies are already trying to save energy and think about every single one of their daily activities. Regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are being introduced around the world and this is a good direction for business. However, we need time for technology to become more economical and green. Unfortunately, technology can also be a tool for misinformation and manipulation. As Marta Gromada notes,
anyone who wants to cover a topic or create conflict can use modern tools, such as deep fake, to manipulate information.
These dangers are indeed real and require appropriate action, such as regulation and education. Without these actions, we may expose ourselves to information manipulation, as well as many other dangers of technological abuse. This is why it is important to use technology in moderation and consider how we can use it in a way that is positive for ourselves, but also for the environment and society. We also need appropriate regulations to protect us from the dangers of technology and to ensure the security of our data.
As Marta Gromada from NASK points out, we also cannot shift the responsibility to the user. The responsibility for the use of technology and its impact on our lives lies with all of us – users, manufacturers and governments. Technology has many advantages and can help us in many aspects of our lives, but we have to remember that it is up to us to decide how we use it. Without a responsible approach and safety assurance measures, we can expose ourselves to dangers that can affect our lives and our surroundings.
Two days filled with meetings, more than thirty debates, round-table discussions, motivating power speeches, dozens of Polish and foreign experts – this is how the largest environmental event in Central and Eastern Europe – the TOGETAIR 2023 International Climate Summit – is presented. The event takes place at the University of Warsaw Library on 20-21 April. TOGETAIR 2023 has received prestigious patronage from Polish and foreign institutions, including the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, and the Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki.
The full agenda of the event including panellists is available at: https://togetair.eu/agenda/
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