Cuba: Artificial Intelligence has arrived

“Navigating the AI Horizon: Opportunities and Threats for Small Developing States in the Caribbean,” the talk offered by Mr. Rodney Taylor, secretary general of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, was the focus of debates on the various uses of artificial intelligence as part of the 19th Informática 2024 Convention, where it was noted that the potentialities range from the agro-industrial sector to medicine, with the possibility of accurate diagnosis.

The representative of the international organization stressed that AI could be used to solve global problems, but at the same time, it implies a great risk given its possible use for harmful purposes.

He highlighted the creation of an advisory group of the United Nations System to address progress and international governance, which will present proposals at the upcoming Summit of the Future.

Finally, Taylor called on Caribbean countries to hold an ethical debate regarding the humanistic aspects of AI, to make strategic use of the technology in pursuit of economic and social development, and invited Cuba to form part of this regional working group.

Artificial Intelligence: The case of Cuba

DSc. Yailé Caballero Mota, Cuban expert on Artificial Intelligence

“AI is already here with us, it is not just a technological trend, and its effective deployment will be essential to face and take advantage of the necessary digital transformation of the country,” stressed DSc. Yailé Caballero Mota, Cuban expert on the subject, while sharing ideas with her colleagues in a keynote lecture during the 19th Informática 2024 Convention.

The professor pointed out that this is a growing technology, with great potential to offer transformations and high capacity to improve competitiveness.

Having followed the evolution of AI from the 2000s to the present, she is convinced of the need for its application based on ethical, transparent and explainable use, as well as the establishment of clear rules at national and international level.

Caballero Mota also stressed that Cuba is committed to the use of artificial intelligence, noting, “There is a community of researchers in universities and scientific centers developing techniques and applications.”

According to Scopus database, there is a growing trend in Cuba to study and publish papers on AI, in which authors linked to the Marta Abreu Central University of Las Villas stand out. “About 80 DSc’s and 70 Masters are studying AI, as well as about 90 doctoral students,” Caballero Mota noted, ranging from topics such as Machine Learning and Data Mining, to Natural Language Processing and Text Mining, Massive Data Analysis and Big Data, and Deep Learning Neural Networks, among others.

The director of International Relations of the University of Camagüey also reported on the inauguration in October 2023 in China of the International Artificial Intelligence Research Institute, adding that Cuba can take advantage of its scientific results for practical application.

“The widespread use of AI will occur faster than we can foresee. In Cuba, we have the vision to apply it in an ethical way,” she asserted, citing national companies that already use the technology in biocomputing, surveillance videos, cybersecurity, big data and deep learning. These include BioCubaFarma, Datys, Geocuba and Softel.
In another space of the Convention Center, the President of the Union of Computer Scientists of Cuba, Aylin Febles, said, “Artificial Intelligence has quietly entered spaces, but not so much Informática 2024.”
She said this on introducing the virtual conference by Jorge Mungia, specialist of the United Nations Development Program in Mexico, on Generative Artificial Intelligence with a sustainable approach to public processes.

This experience is based on the identification of fast cycles to understand emerging challenges and opportunities in local contexts from a human-centered vision.