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We call artificial intelligence any machine that processes information with some purpose, complying with the logical rules of Turing's computation described more than 70 years ago.   These machines work with instructions called algorithms, a finite and well-defined sequence of information processing implemented by automata (computers) or any digital technology to optimize a process. (2) This means that the purpose of artificial intelligence is optimization.

Optimization is the ability to do or solve something in the most efficient way possible and, in the best case, using the least amount of resources. The intended optimization is programmed and preset by humans; therefore, these technologies are tools humans create for human purposes. 

The optimization capability of artificial intelligence is staggering. It is estimated that using artificial intelligence will facilitate the achievement of 134 of the 169 goals agreed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. However, in this evaluation, it was projected that it could negatively affect the progress of 59 goals of the same agreement, being social, economic, educational, legal and gender inequality, the phenomenon most affected by artificial intelligence.

This projection shows us that it is necessary to counterbalance the development and implementation of processes mediated by artificial intelligence, to maintain reflection and question the influence of these technological tools, and, above all, to be based on human intelligence. A definition of human intelligence in the data science and artificial intelligence environment would be a collection of contextual tacit knowledge about human values, responsibility, empathy, intuition, or care for another living being that algorithms cannot describe or execute.

Mauricio Palacios Gómez, Editor en jefe de la revista Colombia médica


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