Alexey Ivanov at the Gaidar Forum: “Now is the best time for lawyers”
Over January 16 and 17, the Director of the Institute took part in the sessions “Artificial Intelligence and the State” and “Competition and Competition Policy in the Conditions of Digital Transformation”.
Alexander Krainov, head of Yandex’s machine intelligence laboratory, opened the discussion on artificial intelligence, saying that artificial intelligence is not a conversation about the future, it’s already widely used now and you don’t need to be afraid that introducing it will turn the world on its head, relegating people to second-class citizens. Igor Agamirzyan, Vice-President of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, spoke that he has been working with artificial intelligence for about 45 years, and noted that the development of this technology was a constant process and not a specific boom that arose several years ago: “Today, artificial intelligence surrounds us everywhere, being part of the technology landscape and the global technology network in which we live”.
Director of the Institute, Alexey Ivanov, noted that today is the best time for lawyers, because their voice is becoming increasingly more relevant in the complex social discussions that have ensued. There is no need to fear that robots will take away jobs from specialists in the legal profession; the transition to artificial intelligence will create only more jobs to resolve a number of legal issues in a “loose and flexible system”. There is no doubt that artificial intelligence can be fraught with threats: in Germany the thesis that robots are objects of heightened danger is already legally enshrined. Exactly the same dangerous systems are indeed the cars on the streets. However, humanity is on a path of progress and is forced to make such choices of acceptance.
Alexey also warned against “agitation” about the importance of technology for the state and, in particular, for the judicial system. The key competence of the judge is to separate what is said from what is the truth. Intuition plays a huge role, the judge's idea of ethics is the very human barrier that must stand between the solution of 'the algorithm' and its implementation. The legal system is based on value parameters, it works with the rational and the irrational, while the robot is not able to take into account ethical and emotional parameters, it is guided by crystalline rational logic. The high level of techno-optimism in Russian society is connected with the fact that many are dissatisfied with existing institutions. Law, according to Alexey, should be adapted to new technological solutions, but we should not talk about a radical restructuring of the system. Many pressing problems can be solved at mid-complexity and simple levels.
Another session of the Gaidar Forum “Competition and Competition Policy in the Conditions of Digital Transformation” on January 17 was devoted to a similar private branch of law, dealing with the position that the development of technology should not exert its influence on competition. This means that we definitely need to clarify antitrust laws in order to regulate the activities of the richest new companies in the world. Digital giants get market power and in practical terms take over the world in a completely different way than previous market leaders. The session participants came to the conclusion that it is impossible to delay the improvement of legislation and the introduction of basic concepts of law applicable to the digital economy, which shall be the starting point for further improvement of sectoral laws.