Tallinn University of Technology

On Thursday 15 February, starting at 11:00 a.m., a talk on "Digital humanism as an enabler to address the urgent need for a holistic socio-technical approach to the latest developments in computer science and artificial intelligence" will be given in room ICT-A1 by Prof. Dr. A Min Tjoa.

As early as 2017, Tim Berners Lee diagnosed that the "system is failing" and that the future of the web was beginning to falter in the face of a "nasty storm" of problems, including the spread of fake news, propaganda, and the increasing polarisation of the web.

In 2019, a consensus-based expert elicitation process found that AI can enable the achievement of 134 targets across all 17 SDG-goals, but can also inhibit 59 targets.

Also in 2019, an international workshop on the societal role of digital technology was held in Vienna. The basic premise was that technology is for people and not the other way round. There is an urgent need to put "humanity" at the centre of computer science work.

One of the outcomes of the workshop was the drafting of the "DIGITAL HUMANISM Manifesto", a position statement which now has the signatures of over 1000 leaders worldwide. It states that digital technologies are disrupting societies and challenging our understanding of what it means to be human - the urgent need to shape technologies according to human values and needs, rather than allowing technologies to shape people.

A core principle of the Manifesto is that scientific approaches that cut across different disciplines are a prerequisite for addressing the challenges ahead.

Technological disciplines such as computer science/informatics need to collaborate with social sciences, humanities and other sciences, breaking down disciplinary silos.

In December 2023, the United Nations Advisory Panel on AI, published its first interim report, "Governing AI for Humanity", which highlights the urgent need for AI governance, not only to address the challenges and risks, but above all to ensure that we harness its potential in a way that "leaves no one behind"

A key measure of success will be the extent to which AI technologies contribute to the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The presentation at Taltech will focus on the need for research and development across multiple disciplines to harness Computer Science and AI for humanity.

Bio: A Min Tjoa is emeritus professor at the Vienna University of Technology at the Institute of Information Systems Engineering where he served as full professor from 1994 to 2021. A Min was guest professor at the University of Zurich, the Technical University in Lausanne, Czech Technical University in Prague, University of Linz, University of Klagenfurt, Wroclaw University of Economics and the University of Kyushu. Currently, he holds a guest professorship at the National Institute of Informatics (NII-Japan) and an adjunct  professorship at ITB (Indonesian most prestigious and oldest Technical University). From 1999 to 2003, he was the President of the Austrian Computer Society. Since 2008, A Min has been the Austrian delegate for the United Nations Committee of Science and Technology Development (UN-CSTD). He was the Chairperson of UN-CSTD for the period 2018/2019 being its vice-chairperson for the periods 2015/16, 2016/2017, 2017/2018, 2019/2020 and 2020/2021. Currently, A Min holds the Executive-Chairperson position at the Austrian National Competence Center for Excellent Technologies (COMET- Competence Center for Excellent Technology) in the field of IT-Security and Privacy (SBA). Since 2010, he is  Vice-President of Infoterm (International Information Center for Terminology). Currently, A Min is the European Coordinator for Technology, Innovation and Sustainability Projects ASEA-UNINET (ASEAN-European Academic University Network). A Min has been awarded the Honorary Doctoral degree (Doctor Honoris Causa) from the Czech University of Technology in Prague for his research work, the Honorary Professor title from Hue University (Vietnam). In 2023, he was awarded the Austrian Decoration of Honor for Science and Art 1st Class (Österreichisches Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst I. Klasse) which is the highest award granted by the Austria for scientific or artistic achievements. A Min has published more than 250 peer reviewed articles in journals and conferences in the area of data science, IT and sustainability, IT and special needs, IT security/privacy/safety, and Information Engineering.

NB! Prof. Dr. A Min Tjoa is also opponent of the PhD thesis of Minakshi Kaushik, "Generalized Association Rule Mining – Dimensional Unsupervised Learning" and will participate in the defence of the thesis as a defence committee member. The defence takes place on February 15, 2024 starting at 14.00 in room ICT-315.