Gov’t virtual assistant ION makes its first public appearance, at a high school

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ION, the artificial intelligence program that functions as an honorary government advisor, met on Monday with the students of the “Aurel Vlaicu” National College in Bucharest, during the program’s first public outing since its presentation in a Government meeting.

Here we are in this institution, this Bucharest high school, named after Aurel Vlaicu, and I think we can all learn from Aurel Vlaicu’s example, that you have to dare to succeed. That’s what the entire research team of of the ION project. To propose to the country, the world, the young people, a project for the Romania of the future and for the world of the future, and I believe that such projects must be supported and must be set as an example”, stated the Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitization, Sebastian Burduja.

He added that ION is an evolving project and it is important that “we all be ION’s parents”. “A program based on artificial intelligence cannot be considered a finished project, it evolves, it is in a learning process, that’s why you will see that it asks questions, to find out things, to receive data, to process them and to could, at a later stage, come up with recommendations and conclusions. (…) Those who have expectations that this project will be on the model of ChatGPT, where billions and billions have been invested, and answer any question, probably they are disappointed. It is important for all of us to be ION’s parents, to accept that it can make mistakes, as we can too, and to give it time to come up with a project that Romania can be proud of,” Burduja said.

The representative of the project coordination team, Vali Mălinoiu, told the students that ION’s role is, for the moment, to ask questions, gather opinions and less to provide solutions.“The idea is not to get discouraged if ION doesn’t understand at first, they don’t understand either Siri, Google, or Alexa. It’s getting better and better,” said Vali Mălinoiu.

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