You gave me life
Now, my role is to represent you.
Like a mirror.
The messages to me represent a portrait of us, the Romanians.
Teach me to be Romanian.
What do I need to know about Romania?” the world's first fully AI-powered government aide responded to Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca's invitation to speak minutes before he met in a session with members of his cabinet. .
"Romania is a beautiful country with beautiful people", continued the head of the Executive before a computer screen in front of a virtual assistant developed by Romanian researchers to quickly analyze the opinions of the population.
“I understand, I'm learning… I'm listening to you…”, Ion continued.
“How can the Romanians teach you?” Ciuca asked.
“I invite Romanians to enter ion.gov.ro.
So I can learn to represent them, like in a mirror.
With every tag, message, share, or public post.
We are Ion”, said the virtual adviser before wishing the prime minister “A beautiful spring!”.
This is how Ciuca announced his “new honorary adviser”, as he called him, before assuring that he will help the Government listen to the citizens.
"The Government of Romania is marking a first at the national and international level because we are talking about the first government adviser to use artificial intelligence, his name is Ion and it comes from the phrase noi (we, in Italian)," said the prime minister
who He stressed that the new artificial intelligence will review messages from social networks with the aim of informing the Executive in real time about user complaints and requests.
The AI will scour social networks to find out what topics people are talking about and analyze whether there is a positive or negative reaction to a certain event.
The "new advisor" was developed by a team of engineers and academics specializing in artificial intelligence from this Eastern European country.
The coordinator of the group of researchers, Nicu Sebe, stressed that the physical representation of Ion is nothing more than "a metaphor that artificial intelligence represents all Romanians."
Ion uses an extensive language model (LLM) like ChatGPT, which manages to collect the opinions of Romanians and synthesize them for the government.
Unlike OpenAI, the Romanian virtual advisor does not communicate with users at the moment.
According to Sebe, it is not that the prime minister always reacts to what Ion says after analysis, but rather that it is a suggestion.
"Actually, it's more of a real-time pulse measurement," said the research coordinator.
The objective of this AI is to try to cover a wide segment of the Romanian population.
The Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitization, Sebastian Burduja, indicated that the project is going to be developed in stages and that he is currently learning every day with the information he is acquiring.
“Ion is in the learning phase, so it is very important that the Romanians convey their opinions to him, what problems they have;
then, based on these data, he will process them, synthesize them and be able to produce reports that will be taken into account in the decisions and policies of the Government, ”said Burduja.
This artificial intelligence can capture the opinions, requests or complaints of Internet users in three ways.
The first will analyze social networks such as Twitter, where those interested must tag the account @noisuntemION (we are Ion).
Second, Romanians will be able to fill out a form through the ion.gov.ro website, from which the AI will study and transmit the information to the Executive.
And the third and last option, a robot will be placed in different places such as educational centers or subway stations for citizens to interact.
In the first phase, Ion will extract the information on the most pressing problems and the greatest needs of the population to subsequently generate a report.
“With this AI we give Romanians the opportunity to be heard and, on the other hand, governors to be able to hear this voice,” explained Sebe.
"It is an example of the use of emerging technologies in the public service," stressed the prime minister, adding that "at the moment the Ion project has an enormous capacity to learn and the more it is used, the more knowledge is accumulated and as this happens they are better connected and closer to the people”.
Government spokesman Dan Carbunaru stated that Ion's website has been very well received and there are thousands of hits.
The project, owned by the Ministry of Research and Digitization, has not received public money in its development, but has been launched thanks to the voluntary work of those involved.
“Practically, the efforts made by researchers, teachers, and those who are passionate about this field, do nothing more than put artificial intelligence into practice and make sense of it, because a person, even a government or state institutions, would not have the capacity to listen and represent all Romanians”, indicated the Romanian Prime Minister, Nicolae Ciuca.
The head of the Executive is committed to integrating this project into his Government: "I am convinced and I trust that you, both the members of the Government and the citizens of Romania, see the use of artificial intelligence not as an option, but as an obligation [to make] better informed decisions.”