President Jokowi’s Reassurance: AI Shouldn’t Be Feared!

artificial intelligence (ai) and machine learning (photo: envato elements)

The rapid advancement and widespread integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the fabric of daily life have prompted a discerning gaze from the governmental quarters. In this context, the President has proffered reassuring words, urging the public not to harbor apprehensions about AI.

“The government extends special consideration to AI to ensure its conscientious and responsible deployment,” articulated Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto in the lush surroundings of Jakarta’s Plataran Forest on a crisp Tuesday (24/10).

Airlangga effectively serves as the herald of President Joko Widodo’s message, one that underscores the unwarranted nature of apprehension in the face of AI’s burgeoning presence. Although specific regulatory frameworks governing AI are yet to be established, the emphasis is laid on proactively addressing critical elements that will guarantee the judicious use of AI.

Airlangga openly admits that the AI phenomenon currently commands attention not only within the nation’s boundaries but is also a matter of significant concern internationally. The need for regulating AI arises to ensure that it doesn’t collide with national interests, the collective welfare of the populace, or the personal interests of individuals.

In his words, “AI must be harnessed in a manner that is consistent with our national interests, free from any conflicts with private or individual concerns.”

Airlangga accentuates the necessity for AI to conform to the principles of healthy competition, a concept that resonates far and wide. The ASEAN countries have made significant strides in this direction by formulating the Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA), with Indonesia taking the lead. The overarching aim of this initiative is to digitize the economy across sectors, from the core of manufacturing to the seamless integration of manufacturing and service provisions.

“Within the dynamic ecosystem of the digital era, the harmony and collaboration that aligns with government policy are instrumental in ensuring that every stratum of society experiences the rapid advancement of digital infrastructure,” Airlangga elaborates with emphasis.

Moreover, the government is not just attentive but anticipatory of the unfolding developments in the realm of artificial intelligence. It envisions a future with a surfeit of AI Engineers who will be tasked with the creation and optimization of AI applications within the Indonesian landscape.

This forward-thinking endeavor syncs with the Leaders’ Declaration that resonated during the G20 summit in India, explicitly acknowledging the significance of AI and the necessity to wield it responsibly.

Adding another layer to this multifaceted approach, Airlangga sheds light on the government’s unrelenting support for the burgeoning startup ecosystem in Indonesia. The support extends across diverse domains and includes a range of financial provisions, such as the People’s Business Credit (KUR) program, the accelerator, a nationwide initiative propelling a thousand startups, and the establishment of startup studios across various urban centers.

In essence, the government’s stance regarding AI represents a cogent and thoughtful strategy, one that not only seeks to mitigate uncertainties surrounding the technology but also propels the nation toward an era of sustained economic growth through responsible and innovative AI deployment.