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Artificial intelligence: Commission kicks off work on marrying cutting-edge technology and ethical standards

Artificial intelligence: Commission kicks off work on marrying cutting-edge technology and ethical standards
Published on: 09/03/2018
The Commission is setting up a group on artificial intelligence to gather expert input and rally a broad alliance of diverse stakeholders.

The expert group will also draw up a proposal for guidelines on AI ethics, building on today's statement by the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies.

From better healthcare to safer transport and more sustainable farming, artificial intelligence (AI) can bring major benefits to our society and economy. And yet, questions related to the impact of AI on the future of work and existing legislation are raised. This calls for a wide, open and inclusive discussion on how to use and develop artificial intelligence both successfully and ethically sound.

Today the Commission has opened applications to join an expert group in artificial intelligence which will be tasked to:

  • advise the Commission on how to build a broad and diverse community of stakeholders in a "European AI Alliance";
  • support the implementation of the upcoming European initiative on artificial intelligence (April 2018);
  • come forward by the end of the year with draft guidelines for the ethical development and use of artificial intelligence based on the EU's fundamental rights. In doing so, it will consider issues such as fairness, safety, transparency, the future of work, democracy and more broadly the impact on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The guidelines will be drafted following a wide consultation and building on today’s statement by the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE), an independent advisory body to the European Commission.

The call for applications for an expert group in artificial intelligence will end on 9 April and the Commission aims to set this group up by May. This group will gather and build on the work done by other experts which is relevant to artificial intelligence, such as the high-level strategy group for industrial technologies (intermediate report) and the expert group on liability and new technologies. For the latter a call for applications was also launched today. This expert group will assist the Commission in analysing the challenges related to the existing liability framework.

The Commission will work closely with Member States, especially through the European platform of national initiatives to digitise industry (next forum event organised in France on 27 and 28 March), with the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions as well as international organisations and fora (such as the G7). Artificial intelligence will be one of the key topics discussed as part of the Digital Day taking place in Brussels on 10 April.

Background

The Joint Declaration on the EU's legislative priorities for 2018-2019 called for a high level of data protection, digital rights and ethical standards in artificial intelligence and robotics.

The Commission has already taken action to make optimal use of what artificial intelligence can offer, with:

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