Having stated that in Iran, research on artificial intelligence started 25 years ago through the awareness of a group of learned individuals led by Dr. Karo Lux, Dr. Majid Nili Ahmad Abadi in an interview with the site of Strategic Council on Foreign Relations reminded that:” Since then, scientific development started in this field in Tehran University as well as some outstanding universities in Iran; because today we are in very good condition in terms of human resources training, implementation of theoretical and applicable researches in the country. The Artificial intelligence as a university major has been established in top universities of the country for more than a decade and within the past five years, it has been the first choice of top students.

Iran’s Premium Position in the Region for artificial intelligence & Efficient Human Resources

He added:” Now, Iran enjoys having a suitable condition in terms of knowledge and education in the field of artificial intelligent, human resources training and its basic technologies. Therefore, there is no problem for human resources and knowledge. From scientific point of view and based on the published articles, Iran stood on 16th place on world ranking in 2020, and no country in the region has the higher ranking than Iran. But our ranking with two countries of the region is very close and fragile. Our ranking could have been much better than what is now. However, the important point to be noted is that in promotion of Iran’s ranking the only factor should not be the number of published articles. Instead, the application and industrialization of the artificial intelligence should be followed too. Once the applications are developed, then countries deal with generating wealth instead of merely publication of articles.

Impediments before the Development of artificial intelligence     

The professor of Tehran University added:” there are several serious obstacles before the application of artificial intelligence; the first issue of attention is that the artificial intelligence relies on data and smart machine can be manufactured only when there are enough data available.

Nili explained:” for example, if we intend to manufacture machines on automatic certificate authority or automatic facial identifying machine or if we want to employ artificial intelligence to lead the optimized public transportation system of the country, to smartly manage the water and energy consumption, to develop a new medication based on artificial intelligence to treat cancer, to use smart processing of social communications to foresee the society’s requirements then we need data and all this rely on data that are either already collected or lively collected in the course of the project. Development of artificial intelligence depends on data but there is no clear intellectual property right in Iran and has no definite trustee either.

Having stressed that one of the main obstacles for development of artificial intelligence in Iran is data governance, he said:” unfortunately, data is seen more from security point of view, while for example artificial intelligence can be used for identifying corruption and fraud in economic activities, but whereas the trustee of governance of data and its concerned laws are not clear, decisive strides can not be taken in this respect”.

The Director of Artificial Intelligence Studies Group of Tehran University added:” Moreover, data are severely dispersed in our country, in such a scattering every foundation or department acknowledges the belonging of the data to itself. Both public and private sectors consider the data as their own, and they do not necessarily follow the rules of the game in collecting data from people and society. Likewise, the issues of privacy of data collecting and the modality how people should be obliged not to trespass on individual’s privacy right have not been cleared in Iran yet”.

Nili spelled out:” various international applications are being used in Iran. Data of such international applications are very necessary for development and applicability of artificial intelligence in Iran; therefore it is necessary to make amendments on our links with these platforms in order to be able to have scientifically, technologically and economic interaction with them. International scientific-technological links have serious role in advancement of artificial intelligence field.

Nili added:” Interaction with international scientific and technological centers has key importance in the development of new fields which have rapid scientific and applicable growth. We are deprived from all this because of sanctions, financial problems and sometimes self-censorship, but it is necessary for policy makers to consider this important element as a key part of development of artificial intelligence ecosystem and be informed of its importance and take action accordingly.

The professor of Tehran University counted the shortage of processing and software infrastructures among the other impediments of development and growth of artificial intelligence in Iran and added:” in order to be among the top countries of the world in the field of artificial intelligence, we have to have special and centralized processing and software infrastructures that can be managed like private sector. Generally, the infrastructures seem to be expensive equipment, but it is strongly needed in our country, meanwhile they are available.

Having emphasized that there is no problem in the field of training human resources and expertise knowledge of artificial intelligence and universities can train much more efficient personnel for technological activities, he added:” the whole story is that something should be done with data governance, imposition of suitable laws, unlocking the data seals, changing the security look to applicable one towards data and artificial intelligence to pave the ground in a way that the private sector can have faster and broader growth in the country, universities change to become innovation and team-making centers and the government will also become a customer to artificial intelligence.

He said:” now, the artificial intelligence can at macro-level of the country contribute to process better decision making in economic, social and security areas through analysis of virtual data as well as national data. To this end, the Government should enter as a serious and grand customer of artificial intelligence with necessary economic initiative in order to enable the private sector to provide service to people, public and private sectors as well as the government. Therefore, governments are among the serious customers of artificial intelligence.

However, Nili underscored that the government should not consider artificial intelligence as one of its sections, instead it should use the services of the private sector.

The Necessity to Pay Attention to “Future Artificial Intelligence”      

The Director of the Artificial intelligence Studies Group of Tehran University added:” If we want to be among the top countries of the world, we should make serious investment on the Future Artificial intelligence right now. The trends of the Future Artificial intelligence are seriously different from that of the present one. One of the serious differences is to use knowledge of cognitive sciences and brain in development and application of artificial intelligence; because with analysis of many data we look for understanding of individual’s as well as society’s behavior”.

He continued:” in fact, we are looking for understanding of the social rules and trends to have better governance and policy making in line with the people’s interests, and to make tools that people can use them better; for example now it is the user who has to learn how to use his/her cell phone but Future Artificial intelligence will pave the ground in which the cell phone itself should learn how to give services to its user. Therefore, it is necessary to know the self of human being and make applicable the knowledge in artificial Intelligence. This will lead to the birth of a new generation in artificial Intelligence. In Iran, this is being followed up under the title turning smart data analysis to cognitive power”.

Nili stressed, combination of artificial intelligence and cognitive sciences is a serious necessity for the future of the country, which must be paid attention to and followed up without delay in a broader way.

Necessity to Expedite Policy Making   

Nili explained:” our neighboring countries are very serious customers of our human resources; foreign companies employ Iranian human resources inside the country to develop their artificial intelligence. If the present procedure continues, we will be left behind further and any mutation in the field of artificial intelligence in the country will be impossible”.

Putting stressed on the countries’ attention on exploiting artificial intelligence towards promoting their security and counter-security measures against other countries, he said:” One of the areas in which countries apply artificial intelligence in line with their security and macro-scale management, is in the field of fostering society’s resilience. Certainly, when a country uses artificial intelligence, it will be developed in economic, social, scientific-technologic and other fields, and the resilience of country will increase through the growth”.

The professor of Tehran University continued to say:” artificial intelligence is one of the key elements of economic development, production of science and technology, serious changes in the lifestyle of people and even how to lead and manage the society. Therefore, we should take note to this serious development for our country. On the other side, as we gain expertise on artificial intelligence, we can use the collected data to preserve and promote our security”.

Nili said:” unfortunately, we are very far from the position we intend to reach in the field of applying artificial intelligence, but the good news is that we are in a good position in terms of human resources as well as dominance on artificial intelligence provided that we improve our scientific interactions with the world, and the capacity has shortened our path to reach to premium position. In order to reach a quick and sustainable growth, it is necessary that ecosystem of artificial intelligence is developed and implemented and to avoid occasional, junctional and superficial initiatives.

Tweeter Message:

Artificial intelligence is amid the promising new technologies in which we enjoy having good expertise and well educated human resources, however much more should be done in Future Artificial Intelligence to remove the present obstacles.