Welcome to Protea

Welcome to Protea – a platform designed to engage the public in learning about data science and artificial intelligence!

We are witnessing a dramatic increase in the use of data-driven artificial intelligence[1] (AI) in products and services used across the public and private sectors. The rapid evolution of AI technologies, and the push to democratize AI, make it nearly impossible for generic and sectoral legal regulations to keep up. National and international organizations have acknowledged the problems these technologies could cause to individuals, social groups, and even society as a whole. Many have released statements, guidelines and recommendations on the ethical and social issues surrounding AI. However, the large scale of the problem – and the breadth of areas in which AI is applied – make it difficult to provide concrete solutions. Thus, most recommendations remain on the level of general requirements. Examples of such provisional solutions include the EU’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence Policy and Investment Recommendations on Trustworthy AI[2], AccessNow’s Human Rights in the Age of Artificial Intelligence[3], and AI4People’s Ethical Framework for a Good AI Society.[4]

Based on such recommendations, AI applications require human oversight. Oversight can help avoid or mitigate unintended consequences, such as discrimination through the use of biased automated decision making. A public oversight mechanism, which enables citizens to report their observations on AI behaviors, could provide a higher level of transparency, accountability and possibility to appeal against undesirable effects of AI. 

That is where Protea comes in. We have designed the Protea platform as a public service as well as a research project, which allows us all to learn more about the human relationship with emerging technology. In particular, Protea aims to provide:

  • Educational activities and short courses related to data science and AI
  • Citizen science projects, in which anyone can participate
  • Services for the industry and the public sector (by request)

Please have a look around at our platform, create and account, and engage with us! 

[1] We use the term “AI” in the general sense put forward in the European Commission’s February 2020 White Paper on AI, “a collection of technologies that combine data, algorithms, and computing power.”  https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/commission-white-paper-artificial-intelligence-feb2020_en.pdf

[2] EU High-Level Expert Group on AI (2019) Policy and Investment Recommendations on Trustworthy AI

[3] Access Now (2018) Human Rights in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

[4] AI4People (2018) An Ethical Framework for a Good AI Society: Opportunities, Risks, Principles, and Recommendations

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