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#WhoWeAreWednesday: An Interview with Nicoleta Acatrinei

Today, we feature an interview with Nicoleta Acatrinei, the co-lead of our People Team.

How would you describe your experience with AI?
In a sense, my whole childhood was an experience of AI, an imaginary world based on an extensive reading experience of science-fiction literature, which was the most accessible and the least censored in the Romanian dictatorship where I grew up. Hence, my attitude towards AI, Robotics and technology in general is one of curiosity and pushing the limits of human knowledge as far as possible. I have a deep a desire to use AI to make a better world.

What led to your interest in the intersection of AI and faith?
I grew up in the Christian Orthodox faith and was raised spiritually by the hermits living in the caves of the Carpathian Mountains and by the nuns and monks from the Moldavian Monasteries. I was taught from a young age about the Beauty of God and the beauty of the human being created in the image of God. I see the world of AI as an outflowing of the creativity power God gave to humans, an expression of the divine origin of the human being. Now, humans have the choice to create and develop things that are aligned with their created beauty. AI is crucial in the sense as it impacts all aspects of our daily life, for better or for worse.

Why are you involved with AI&F?
I engaged in the AI and Faith community to promote the Beauty of the human nature and protect it from harm. I am the co-lead of the Networking team, or the People Team, with Ben Olsen, and I am a research fellow in the Research Team. I publicize AI and Faith at every event I attend. I recruit new members to our community and connect them to various activities. I help organize AI and Faith events, and I write papers published on the AI and Faith website. I hope to develop a research project in which AI and Faith collaborates with other organizations and universities.

How does AI&F affect your work outside the organization?
I love introducing people from my professional network to AI and Faith. I have also introduced AI and Faith to my network and invited its members to the events I organize in my professional life. I hope to create cross-pollination between experts and networks, creating an active, continual learning process.

What open problems in AI are you most interested in?
Sentience, Conciseness, Personhood, Ethics and Moral Decisions in AI, the Future of Work and AI, Social Learning in AI – and above all how faiths can inspire and enrich the debates around AI and its transformational impact on human society.

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