Estonia


Estonia's government AI will tell you when to see the doctor Sifted

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Ott Velsberg, Estonia's fresh-faced, 28-year-old chief data officer, is on a mission put AI into every part of the country's public services, from healthcare to education and job centres. "The aim is to make government more proactive and responsive to people's life-events," says Velsberg. Instead of citizens having to apply for things like driver's licences and school places, he envisions a system where public bodies can anticipate and preemptively respond to the needs people have at different stages of their life. "We're not telling people what to do. That might happen in China but not in Estonia, or in Europe as a whole."


He co-founded Skype. Now he's spending his fortune on stopping dangerous AI.

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If you've ever used Skype or shared files on Kazaa back in the early '00s, you've encountered the work of Jaan Tallinn. And if humans wind up creating machines that surpass our own intelligence, and we live to tell about it -- we might have Tallinn's philanthropy, in small part, to thank. Tallinn, whose innovations earned him tens of millions of dollars, was one of the first donors to take seriously arguments that advanced artificial intelligence poses a threat to human existence. He has come to believe we might be entering the first era in human history where we are not the dominant force on the planet, and that as we hand off our future to advanced AI, we should be damned sure its morality is aligned with our own. He has donated more than $600,000 to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, a prominent organization working on "AI alignment" (that is, aligning the interests of an AI with the interests of human society) and more than $310,000 to the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford, which works on similar subjects.


Estonia is building a 'robot judge' to help clear legal backlog

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Estonia, a tiny Northern European nation of fewer than 1.4 million inhabitants, has made impressive strides in digitizing, streamlining, and modernizing its government functions. Estonia famously launched its "e-residency" program that allows practically anybody -- including foreigners -- to access Estonian government services.


Can AI escape our control and destroy us?

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"It began three and a half billion years ago in a pool of muck, when a molecule made a copy of itself and so became the ultimate ancestor of all earthly life. It began four million years ago, when brain volumes began climbing rapidly in the hominid line. In less than thirty years, it will end." Jaan Tallinn stumbled across these words in 2007, in an online essay called "Staring into the Singularity." The "it" is human civilization.


Estonia to Empower AI-Based Judge in Small Claims Court - 150sec

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In recent years, the technology field has been abuzz with the advent of ever-improving AI-based technology. Whilst much of that tech is in its formative stages, there are real tangible signs of its application emerging. In Estonia, it seems that the technology is destined to be used in what traditionally would be the least innovative of areas – the country's courts system.


Can AI Be a Fair Judge in Court? Estonia Thinks So

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Government usually isn't the place to look for innovation in IT or new technologies like artificial intelligence. But Ott Velsberg might change your mind. As Estonia's chief data officer, the 28-year-old graduate student is overseeing the tiny Baltic nation's push to insert artificial intelligence and machine learning into services provided to its 1.3 million citizens. "We want the government to be as lean as possible," says the wiry, bespectacled Velsberg, an Estonian who is writing his PhD thesis at Sweden's Umeå University on using the Internet of Things and sensor data in government services. Estonia's government hired Velsberg last August to run a new project to introduce AI into various ministries to streamline services offered to residents.


Can we stop robots outsmarting humanity?

The Guardian

It began three and a half billion years ago in a pool of muck, when a molecule made a copy of itself and so became the ultimate ancestor of all earthly life. It began four million years ago, when brain volumes began climbing rapidly in the hominid line. In less than thirty years, it will end. Jaan Tallinn stumbled across these words in 2007, in an online essay called Staring into the Singularity. The "it" was human civilisation. Humanity would cease to exist, predicted the essay's author, with the emergence of superintelligence, or AI, that surpasses human-level intelligence in a broad array of areas. Tallinn, an Estonia-born computer programmer, has a background in physics and a propensity to approach life like one big programming problem.


Estonia is creating an AI-powered JUDGE

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Estonia is building an artificial intelligence powered robo-judge that will rule over a backlog of small court cases. It will be fed legal documents and analyse them before coming to a decision based on its pre-programmed algorithms and training. The'robot judge' would preside over disputes of less than €7,000 (£6,000/$8,000) and free up more time for humans to work on bigger cases. Any ruling would be legally binding but could be appealed to a human judge. The project and technology is still in its infancy and no set date has been announced for its roll-out, but the larger AI project it is part of will announce its results in May.


Can AI Be a Fair Judge in Court? Estonia Thinks So

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Government usually isn't the place to look for innovation in IT or new technologies like artificial intelligence. But Ott Velsberg might change your mind. As Estonia's chief data officer, the 28-year-old graduate student is overseeing the tiny Baltic nation's push to insert artificial intelligence and machine learning into services provided to its 1.3 million citizens. "We want the government to be as lean as possible," says the wiry, bespectacled Velsberg, an Estonian who is writing his PhD thesis at Sweden's Umeå University on how to use AI in government services. Estonia's government hired Velsberg last August to run a new project to introduce AI into various ministries to streamline services offered to residents.


Estonia: a springboard for global startups and AI applications

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We know tech giants like Amazon, Baidu, Facebook and Google have AI advantages like collecting enormous amounts of data, access to top talent, huge investments in research and development, over smaller companies. However, the possibilities offered by AI are not reserved only for the largest companies and biggest economies. Estonia is looking for ways how to attract international talent and investments; and on the other hand, its small size with limited resources requires the public administration and government to work efficiently. No wonder that in Estonia, both the government and companies have noticed the potential of AI technologies to solve these current demographic and economic challenges, as the impact of AI on GDP in the Nordics alone is expected to be considerable: 9.9% of GDP (1.8 trillion). There is a large spread of AI readiness in Europe, but even the most advanced countries are lagging the US in AI frontier.