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    In Romania, an AI hired to “advise” the Prime Minister – Liberation



    Digital transition

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    Artificial intelligence: from fascination to concerncase

    The Romanian government has launched “Ion”, a robot using artificial intelligence to collect the opinions and needs of the population. At first mocked, this ambitious project is characteristic of a two-speed country, where prodigy developers rub shoulders with a lagging digital transition.

    It stands in the center of the room, in a spacious open space located in the center of Bucharest. A 2 meter high mirror, in an oval shape and with a refined design. At his feet, triangular glass plates reveal processors with bluish lights. Because this mirror is actually a robot. His name is “Ion”, a common first name in Romania, equivalent to Jean. “Ion upside down, this gives no“we” in Romanian, because it wants to be a mirror of Romanian society”, says Mihaela Becheru, project and public relations manager at, one of the tech companies that participated in its creation.

    Facing her own reflection, Mihaela strikes up a conversation with the robot about the local healthcare system. She suggests “to build new hospitals”. A deep voice answers him, and the dictated text appears gradually on the surface of the mirror. According to Ion, the subject is a concern for Romanians and many already existing hospitals are asking to be modernized. “But what are your ideas for modernizing them?” demand artificial intelligence. “And so on, Ion asks more precise questions to collect the proposals of the citizens”, adds Mihaela.

    Survey the Romanians

    On March 1, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca presented the robot to the public, which he calls his new “advise” governmental. The first in the world based on artificial intelligence. Symbol of Romania’s entry into the AI ​​race, the new


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