International Expert Discusses Responsible AI at INTERSPEECH 2023 in Dublin

22 August 2023

Professor of Responsible Artificial Intelligence at Umeå University, Sweden, Virginia Dignum delivered a keynote speech at INTERSPEECH 2023 on the essential need for a responsible approach to the development and deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI).  Talking this morning (Tuesday 22nd August) to an audience of almost 2000 international scientists, researchers and professionals who are in Dublin this week for INTERSPEECH 2023, the premier international conference on the science and technology of spoken language processing.

The rapid advancement of AI technology has the potential to extend human capabilities to new horizons. However, it comes with a set of complex challenges, including its impact on education, jobs, and the potential biases ingrained within these systems. During her keynote address, Professor Dignum, a leading authority in the field, highlighted the importance of addressing these challenges in her keynote presentation.

“AI is a tool that can bring about immense innovation and progress, but it also demands a deep understanding of its nature, design choices, and societal role,” Professor Dignum emphasised. “The ethical considerations surrounding AI are of paramount importance as we navigate this evolving landscape.”

The talk delved into recent AI developments, such as foundational models, transformer models, generative models, and large language models (LLMs), raising crucial questions about the paradigm shift in AI. Professor Dignum challenged the audience to consider the responsibilities held by those developing and deploying AI systems, emphasizing that AI is not an autonomous entity but rather an extension of human decision-making.

A key focus of the presentation was the call for a responsible approach to AI, characterised by principles of trust, cooperation, and the common good. Professor Dignum underscored the role of regulation, governance, and awareness in achieving responsible AI development. She explored the ongoing ethical dilemmas and the necessity to make informed trade-offs while always considering the contextual nature of decision-making.

“Responsible AI is not a choice; it’s the only path forward,” Professor Dignum stated. “It requires a holistic approach involving the alignment of values in AI systems, the establishment of regulatory frameworks, diligent monitoring, and adherence to ethical norms.”

The talk will challenge the notion of regulation as a hindrance, instead framing it as a catalyst for innovation, fostering public acceptance, driving transformative change, and enabling businesses to distinguish themselves in an increasingly AI-driven world.

Professor Dignum’s talk is one of a series of keynote addresses by international experts taking place at INTERSPEECH this week.  INTERSPEECH 2023 is organised by ISCA (International Speech Communication Association) and the SFI ADAPT Centre for AI-Driven Digital Content Technology at Trinity College Dublin.  


Virginia Dignum is Professor of Responsible Artificial Intelligence at Umeå University, Sweden and director of WASP-HS, the Wallenberg Program on Humanities and Society for AI, Autonomous Systems and Software, the largest Swedish national research program on fundamental multidisciplinary research on the societal and human impact of AI. She is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), and a Fellow of the European Artificial Intelligence Association (EURAI). She is a member of the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI), the World Economic Forum’s Global Artificial Intelligence Council, the UNESCO expert group on the implementation of AI recommendations, the Executive Committee of the IEEE Initiative on Ethically Aligned Design, and of ALLAI, the Dutch AI Alliance. She was a member of EU’s High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence and leader of UNICEF’s guidance for AI and children. She is author of “Responsible Artificial Intelligence: developing and using AI in a responsible way”.