Christian de Vartavan – Projectis – Cloud Expo Europe 2020
NAYOKA OWARE [00:00:12] Hello and welcome back to day two of the London Tech Show 2020 by CloserStill Media right here at Excel London. I’m Nayoka Oware hosting for Disruptive Live and I am joined by Christian de Vartavan, the CEO of Projectis Consultants Ltd. How you doing?
CHRISTIAN DE VARTAVAN [00:00:30] Well, I am very good. Thank you very much. Thank you for having me.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:00:33] You’re absolutely. Welcome, Christian. Thank you for joining me.
CHRISTIAN DE VARTAVAN [00:00:36] It’s a pleasure.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:00:37] So you are the CEO. That’s pretty self-explanatory. So let’s find out what Projectis do. Who are you?
CHRISTIAN DE VARTAVAN [00:00:44] Well, it’s a small consultancy company I created two and a half years ago, I planned it would establish its reputation over five years. And I must say that since a few weeks, suddenly the telephone rings almost every day now, which is great. And we specialise in new technologies. Blockchain in particular, artificial intelligence, AI, but also quantum computing and other such areas. I’m also a permanent board member on the APPG of for blockchain in Parliament. That’s all party group for blockchain. And also on the APPGAI where I intend sessions and participate into the debates of how we can use these new technologies in and you know, in a practical way and also in a ethical way.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:01:36] Are there any projects that you’re currently working on that you can share with us?
CHRISTIAN DE VARTAVAN [00:01:41] Well, there it is. There are several projects. One of them I would rather talk about, you know, the question of how, you know, AI could affect the way our society functions. But I could also say that my company collaborates with the police. I advise the UK police on blockchain. I was in for I in fact gave the SIO 2020 masterclass a few days ago in Birmingham, the senior investigation officers masterclass which took in which I gave in front of 53 policing agencies and 120 senior investigation officers. Now there I proposed, a new blockchain solution to catch a certain subset of criminals. But this is for the time being, classified. Although the programme is going ahead for the time being on my part. So we’ve a technology company. I can’t say anymore. I have to have other clients. But what I talked about this morning and my speech here is will AI be the doom of all morality. As you may or may not know, because not everybody does. All laws are Christian based. You know Christianity, The Bible in from the time of King Ethelbertha AD 390 onwards have shaped the constitution that we have today. And the question I asked this morning is why should we leave AI in the hands of developers, coders who have a different type of morality and not perhaps not the type of morality we would like to follow. And what I was trying to explain is that this should be a debate. It should be debated among us people. It should we should express our views to our MP’s, who then should be debated in parliament, but it should not be imposed onto us. As you know, sometime you may have heard that the police, which are advised, of course, and in blockchain, is actually using a camera, you know, face recognitions in northern London. Now, one commissioner of the Met a few days ago said, well, we can’t feed the beast like that is AI like that immediately without referring to parliament. And this is very right. And the anology I was saying that in blockchain we need consensus for a transaction to be accepted. Well, we need consensus of how we use AI because otherwise you might end in a situation where you have some male-only, white only, football loving only, beer drinking only developers programming their own values and perhaps not even consciously. That’s the worst part of all. And in the end, the AI will make choices, perhaps, of how all children should be educated. What type of literature they should read, and which direction they should go without us being informed about it. It’s extremely important in the future that we know who has quoted what in what AI, particularly if it’s in the public service. And in this respect, the Americans are preceding us because I learned that a few days ago a bill has been passed in United States compelling any AI to be defined, and particularly to give the names of those who actually created it. Since we’re talking about America, M.I.T a few weeks ago said that, well, you know what, we can do an AI that will actually be so sophisticated to be, it can judge people. And in less infallable and will be infallable as compared to human judgement, when in fact we know for a start that a human judgement takes a lifetime. And as a judge of this country told me, sometimes all of our 40 years of experience in the high court is not enough to do to a person. Now, there was a backfire immediately from associations and people because we realised that the AI would actually classify people by some type unconsciously, by colour, by ethnic group, by gender. And this is completely unacceptable. And now M.I.T has is actually presently on their website asking you to participate into elaborating the future AI that is you. You can go to their platform and they tell us what you think we should do. But in fact, even though on the one hand it should be the people should be consulted. The reflection should take place at a higher level with consensus. So that precisely guidance is. And as from now on this I’m mistaken. Parliament has issued one page on their website of a guidance of how AI should be used, but not yet, as far as I know. Maybe I missed something. A report, unlike the NHS, the NHS has an extremely good report on how we should AI.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:06:44] Thank you for that. You mentioned that these discussions are not being had. They’re not being taken to parliament. Why do you think this is? Are they being avoided?
CHRISTIAN DE VARTAVAN [00:06:52] No. The discussions are currently going on. In fact, this is the role of APPGAI, which is led by Lord Tim Kleman Jones, who is with, you know, panache I would say doing the job. And we’ve a lot of experts. We have sessions, we meet very often. And there is also a board committees and then it goes to select committees and then committees. It is a process. It is something which cannot be defined as, you know, immediately. Imagine the Americans have managed to pass this bill, in the United Kingdom to pass a bill is extremely difficult process because of our own system. But it it doesn’t mean that discussion, the debate should not take place. It doesn’t mean that parliament cannot issue guidance. And, in fact, it has already. But it’s clearly were not at the point where we should be. So that Dame Cressida, who heads to Met police, said, well, perhaps we should not be so much worried about face recognition because it actually saves us from people who have knives on people. But in fact, that must be like giving up part of our privacy in the name of safety. And this is possibly not right. We need to be asked whether we want to be filmed when we are in the public space in the street and whether our data should be used. And in this respect, which is quite worrying in a way I learned 24 hours ago, 48 hours ago, that the European Union is implementing, not even considering to implement is implementing upon European face recognition database. So imagine you could be shopping in Venice while the head of German police actually knows you’re there and what you’re doing. In a way might be fine if it’s the police which is on the controls the network. But if it falls in the hands of a politician like Viktor Orban in Hungary, who has not exactly the best of reputation in, you know, in Europe, he could be using it to challenge his political opponents. And that would be not a right way to use personal data in citizens states.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:09:02] Thank you so much for your time, Christian. It’s been great speaking to you.
CHRISTIAN DE VARTAVAN [00:09:05] Well, thank you very much. It’s a pleasure being here.
NAYOKA OWARE [00:09:06] You’re welcome to join the conversation by using the hashtag Disruptive Live and CEE 2020. We will be back shortly.