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ASPI Director Hamid Ekbia Visits Spain to Discuss Challenges in Regulating AI

July 28, 2023

Hamid Ekbia, Carme Artigas Brugal, Javier Font
From left are Hamid Ekbia, Carme Artigas Brugal and Javier Font.

As part of ASPI’s global outreach program, Director Hamid Ekbia visited Spain in July 2023, where he met with Carme Artigas Brugal, Spain’s secretary of state for digitalization and artificial intelligence. AI regulation is a top priority of the Spanish Presidency of the European Council in the second semester of 2023. Spain already hosts Europe’s first oversight agency and the European Center for Algorithmic Transparency (ECAT).

Joined by Maxwell’s Advisory Board member Javier Font ’92 M.P.A. who also facilitated the meeting, Ekbia and Brugal discussed the current challenges in regulating AI. In recent years, the government of Spain has taken important steps in this direction, most significantly in passing a comprehensive Charter of Digital Rights, which deals with emerging issues on the basis of fundamental rights such as human dignity, the free development of personality, and respect for the law and rights of others.

In the meeting, Ekbia highlighted the significance of the Spanish approach to AI regulation in dealing with current issues—for instance, in the case of brain implants that have great medical potential but that also pose significant risks to human autonomy. He also described ASPI’s initiative to launch an Academic Alliance for AI Policy and invited Secretary Brugal to the AI Policy Symposium to be held in Washington, D.C., in October 2023. The invitation was received warmly by the secretary who indicated her desire to take part.

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