Prime Minister Ratas emphasised the importance of human-centred ethics

In the opening speech of the Tallinn Digital Summit, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas spoke of the effect of the developments in the field of artificial intelligence on the society in the coming decades and emphasised the importance of human-centred ethics.

Speaking of the developments of the digital revolution, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas highlighted the increasing speed of innovation and the environment that facilitates it. “The steam engine started the industrial revolution and the rapid increase in population led to a hunger for innovation. We could say that for the next 15 years, we will invent a new steam engine every day,” said Ratas.

“Artificial intelligence is inevitable in the modern world and we must learn to use it to improve people’s lives,” said the prime minister, mentioning that Estonia has already implemented and will soon implement more than a couple dozen artificial intelligence solutions.

According to the prime minister, Estonia has been developing human-centred e-governance for 20 years. “All of our citizens are owners of their personal data and should be able to control how those data are used,” said Ratas. “However, in the process of automating national digital services and making them more preventative, it has become clear that human-centred data ethics is much more complex than it initially seems. We need fundamental changes in the mentality of the whole society. Changes in cultures and mindsets take much longer than the launch of a new digital service,” Ratas admitted.

The prime minister expressed hope that today’s meeting would help digitally minded countries to find solutions for human-centred governance together by sharing their knowledge and experiences. “Digital solutions facilitate economic growth, make governance more efficient, and will also hopefully make the world a better place. I believe that sharing experiences and best practices will benefit everyone involved. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we should learn from each other’s best solutions – not simply emulate them, but also cooperate and serve as an example globally,” Prime Minister Ratas noted.

The Tallinn Digital Summit is taking place for the third time. The forum of the leaders of the field first came to be in 2017, when Estonia held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and organised a summit of the digital area that brought heads of state and government of the European Union to Tallinn. This year, the conference focuses on artificial intelligence and its effect on our future.

The conference is organised by the Government Office in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. The content partners of Tallinn Digital Summit 2019 are the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), The Future Society, and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI). The Estonian modular silent space manufacturer Silen and the official car partner BMW (Inchcape Motors Estonia) will also contribute to the success of the Tallinn Digital Summit.