AI and I: A three-step approach to Artificial Intelligence: Episode 1 - Understanding AI. Types, uses and risks

EDPS trainees

Welcome to the first episode of the three-part podcast series: AI and I: A three-step approach to Artificial Intelligence, created by the trainees of the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) and European Data Protection Board (EDPB), which explore specific aspects of Artificial Intelligence technologies (AI) in our society.

AI has become quite a hot topic in the current public debate in light of its increasingly growing use and far-reaching implications for human societies. However, the concept of AI is used to indicate and describe different things; thus, a standard definition for AI seems difficult to be provided.

In this first episode, we will try to shed some light on the concept of AI and discuss its common features. We also seek to clarify how AI technologies work, what are currently the most relevant fields of application for AI technologies in our societies and what we should expect from the development of AI technologies in the future.

There are three broad categories of AI: the symbolic AI; the connectionist AI; and the hybrid AI, which uses the technology of the first two categories. Currently, AI is used in a variety of different ways, for instance, AI is used for profiling as a useful tool, such as, fraud detection. AI may also be used for voice or image detection, which has an impact on our privacy. AI technologies also shape the way we see the world and how we react to certain situations.

Eventually, it is essential to link the development of AI technologies to procedural and legal developments. The future of AI also depends on the AI Act and the standardisation process. One important use of AI in the future could be, for example, CV screening, which may include many risks that could lead to an issue related to local and global explainability of the AI procedures.

In order to discuss and cast light on these aspects, we have invited an expert in this field, Xabier Lareo López de Vergara, Technology and Security Officer in the Technology & Privacy unit of the EDPS since 2017. As a member of the EDPS internal AI Task Force, which follows AI related legal and technical developments, Mr. Lareo López de Vergara will tackle various questions and issues on this topic.

This podcast is hosted by Maria Vardala and Gianluca Ciarfaglia, and was prepared with the assistance of fellow trainees from EDPS and EDPB, Elora Fernandes, Alba Montes Reguero, Gloria Cuesta Noguerales, Christian Ivanov, Matteo Leffi and Carolin Kivioja.

This Podcast was recorded on 27 June 2022.


Xabier Lareo

Technology and Security Officer

Xabier Lareo is a Technology and Security Officer at the Technology & Privacy unit of the EDPS, which he joined in 2017. He is also a member of the EDPS internal AI Task Force, which follows AI related legal and technical developments. He provides advice on technology developments that have an impact on privacy and data protection, contributes to policy papers, and takes part in EDPS supervision activities.

Topics he focuses on include, biometric data processing, artificial intelligence, anonymisation and online tracking and profiling.

Xabier Lareo has a degree in Computer Engineering and started his professional career in software development. Prior to working at the EDPS, he worked as Data Inspector for the Spanish Data Protection Authority between 2007 and 2017.