A hug between technology and humanity

Tech for Humanity Summit

Tech for Humanity Summit, held in Bilbao from March 11-13, was a global event on technology and humanity that brought together innovators and social entrepreneurs from around the world. Organized by Ashoka and BBK, the meeting served as a platform for collaboration and the exchange of cutting-edge ideas, with the common goal of creating a future in which technology is used to benefit the common good.

Event participants – including María Beunza, CEO of Human AI – had the opportunity to network and forge strategic alliances. Social entrepreneurs, business leaders and philanthropists gathered to discuss and develop new initiatives to ensure that technology is a positive and transformative force.

Antonella Broglia – Ambassador of Ashoka Spain, presenter of the event and member of the Innovactoras Association – proposed to flee from dystopian visions and – instead of falling into the typical apocalyptic perspectives on the struggle between humans and machines – wanted to enter into a constructive public debate on artificial intelligence (AI). A debate that, far from generating fear, encourages action and critical reflection.

Artificial intelligence at the service of society

Nora Sarasola – Director of BBK’s Social Work – pointed out that AI will be integrated into all areas of life, from industry to health, education and the environment. Its impact, both positive and negative, will be gigantic, so it is crucial to work together to ensure that AI is at the service of society. And it is precisely against this backdrop that Tech Humanity has emerged, an initiative of BBK and Ashoka that seeks to bring order to the multiplicity of ideas and messages about AI, offering hope about its applications and its influence on society.

“We want to combine the best of Artificial Intelligence with the best of human intelligence.”

Tech Humanity is committed to a humanistic approach to AI, combining the best of artificial intelligence with the best of human intelligence. Its goal is for AI to be at the service of society, and people at the center of AI, as a tool capable of generating positive impact.

Nora highlighted BBK’s collaboration with Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs: leading entrepreneurs in the use of AI for the common good, with the aim of protecting citizenship, democracy and coexistence.

Social Entrepreneurs: Architects of a Sustainable Future

These social entrepreneurs, with a clear vision of systemic change, have demonstrated their effectiveness in solving social problems through the application of technology.

“So what is a social entrepreneur?”. A social entrepreneur is an individual with a vision and an obsession to solve: a social problem,” Antonella emphasized. Her success is not measured in economic terms, but in the positive impact she generates in society: “How much life transformed, how much suffering I have eliminated, how many serious problems I have removed from circulation and in all social fields”. In addition, he added, social entrepreneurs:

  • They address root causes: They do not limit themselves to superficial solutions, but seek to understand and attack the root causes of problems.
  • They have a proven impact: Their models are already working and have transformed the lives of thousands or even millions of people.
  • They influence public policy: Their work has the capacity to change the way things are done, to change laws, reaching the political level.

Imagining the future of education with AI

One of the social entrepreneurs who opened the event was Antonio García Vicente, a 16-year-old with a great passion for education and technology, who invited with his presentation to reflect on how artificial intelligence (AI) can transform the education of the future.

Antonio – involved since the age of 6 in the world of programming – recognized the importance of education as a tool for change. And it is in this educational context that AI emerges as a powerful ally to democratize education and make it accessible to all. “And what is the potential of AI in education?” he posed.

  • Bridging the education gap: AI can help fill the teacher shortage in rural or hard-to-reach areas, providing quality education to all children and youth.
  • Personalize learning: AI can adapt to the individual needs of each student, creating personalized and inclusive learning experiences.
  • Empower creativity: AI can help students visualize their ideas, evaluate and optimize them, boosting their ability to think creatively.
  • Cater to diversity: AI can facilitate the integration of students with different cultures or disabilities, creating inclusive and accessible classrooms.

Antonio invited us to imagine a future where AI is used responsibly to build a better world. A future where education is of quality, accessible and inclusive for all. However, he cautions that AI cannot replace the work of teachers. Human interaction is fundamental for the social and emotional development of children. It is necessary to use AI responsibly and ethically, to prevent it from becoming a threat to humanity.

“Artificial intelligence is here to help us but it will never be able to replace a teacher completely. When we are children we spend a large part of our time at school and it is something vital not only for our educational formation but also for our formation as people; and that is why the human side of teachers is so important, as they transmit values that are impossible to program in a machine.”

A forum for debate and reflection

Tech for Humanity was presented as a forum open to participation through round tables, debates, interviews and conferences. The objective was to learn from social entrepreneurs and to explore the application of their innovative solutions. It is an effort to build a better future for all, where AI is put at the service of the common good. Nora invited “all citizens to feel involved, to understand all these issues and the potential and the risk that artificial intelligence poses, to understand that it is part of our daily lives – whether we want it or not – and that we can have a collective debate”.

“It is time to understand that we have a responsibility to use it to build a better future,” he said at the close of the event. Tech for Humanity therefore stands as a voice for the defense of thought, reflection, clarity and the coexistence of technology and humanity.