Culture minister calls on EU to support AI solutions in preserving cultural heritage

The European Union must support the contributions of artificial intelligence to preserving European and national cultural heritage, but must stand up to technology-based attempts “built on manipulation and designed to strip people of elements of their dignity”, the minister of culture and innovation said on Tuesday, after a meeting of culture ministers in Brussels.

While AI is a valuable tool, “humans must be the ones to decide what to preserve,” Janos Csak said.

He said the ministers had discussed challenges to European culture and identity. “Despite debates on what we mean by identity or culture, all member states are committed to preserving … the valuable and multi-faceted culture amassed in Europe,” he said.

European identity is determined by the Judeo-Christian, Greek and Roman heritage, Csak said. “Even those wanting to erase the past admit this.”

Hungary’s cultural priorities during its presidency will be to strengthen that heritage and the institutions passing it on, he added. “Good European policies strengthen our communities, ties and sense of belonging, rather than dismantling and pulverising our identity.”

Hungary supports the proposal to increase funding for preserving cultural heritage in the next financial cycle, he said.

The meeting also touched on the preservation and protection of artifacts. Csak noted that the Hungary Helps humanitarian programme, aiding persecuted Christians in crisis regions, also played an important role in preserving, restoring and saving artifacts.

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