ION, the Gov’t AI-based robot, apologizes following intellectual theft accusations

​The team behind ION, the first robot based on Artificial Intelligence, which became an advisor to Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă, apologized on Friday after being accused by the Ciugud town hall of violating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and taking the image without consent in the presentation clip to a student from a presentation clip of the school in Ciugud.

The ION team reacted on Friday to the problems reported by Ciugud City Hall a day ago.

“Dear people from Ciugud Town Hall, I, ION (yet) do not make videos. I am assisted by a team of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to make this project happen. The ION team appreciates innovation and was inspired by TVR’s report on your school. The people at TVR were kind and helped with the video materials for the presentation film. The image taken is from the official YouTube channel of TVR.

I apologize for the situation created. I have given up on the image in question and I promise you that I have learned from this experience.Finally, thank you for the letter and the 10 principles for digital transformation.I appreciate openness to technology. I would be happy to see you in the ION Caravan at your school, because you are part of those with a vision in the Romania of the Future.Thank you for all the messages received, for your patience and understanding.”

The Ministry of Digitization, led by Sebastian Burduja, also apologized In an official statement sent on Friday, the Ministry of Digitization also apologized for the incident:

“The image used has been processed and edited. The presentation clip has been edited and the image in question has been removed. Any new project, especially one carried out by a team of volunteers, can encounter difficulties at the beginning of the journey.We, in turn, apologize on behalf of the project team, believing that this lesson has already been learned by ION,” the Ministry of Digitization said.

The town hall of the Ciugud commune took advantage of the launch of the first 100% Romanian AI project and on Thursday evening “sent” an open letter to Prime Minister Ciucă asking for 10 specific things for the true digitization of the Romanian public administration. The officials from Ciugud also accuse that one of the images used in the presentation belongs to them and violates the GDPR as it is the picture of a student.

“!! P.S. Dear Ion, we also teach you a first lesson: don’t appropriate other people’s work (it can also be read “don’t steal”). Having a look over your presentation video, I found that one of the images used belongs to us. The girl in the picture at minute 0:27 (see photo) was our student, and the picture is taken, without asking our permission, from an older film of our school.So, dear Ion, first of all, we recommend that you learn well the Romanian legislation and the GDPR Regulation, so that you are not accused of unjustly appropriating the work of others. We know that you want to be as human as possible, so this time we just say that “to err is human” and we think that through the images in our film we also put our shoulder to your promotion.”, Ciugud town hall posted on Facebook.

Ciugud commune in Alba county has become famous for its development level, growth and investments in the past years and also is known for the Romanian village that attracted the most EU funds in the country, around EUR 30 million so far.

Ciugud commune is one of the most developed ones in Romania, boasting asphalt roads even inside farmlands, free Internet in public areas, cycling paths and using wind energy and solar panels for the public street lighting system. More digital projects have been also developed by Ciugud in the past years, which brought it the name of the “smart commune”.

At the same time, dozens of companies that chose the industrial area of ​​the champion commune when accessing European funds. On an area of ​​43 hectares they find all utilities. There is still demand, so the authorities want to make another 50 hectares available to interested companies. 80% of the local budget – i.e. around one million euros – comes from the fees and taxes paid by companies.

apologizesartificial intelligenceciugudclipgovernmentimageintellectual theftIonrobotschoolstudenttown hall
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