The EU is pursuing a digital strategy that builds on our successful history of technology, innovation and ingenuity, vested in European values, and projecting them onto the international stage. The White Paper on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the European data strategy presented today show that Europe can set global standards on technological development while putting people first. Digital technologies considerably improve our lives, from better access to knowledge and content to how we do business, communicate or buy goods and services. The EU must ensure that the digital transformation works for the benefit of all people, not just a few. Citizens should have the opportunity to flourish, choose freely, engage in society and at the same time feel safe online.
Positive, reliable and human-centric artificial intelligence (AI) relies on the willingness of Europe as a whole to design a balanced and inclusive governance framework that would allow it to become a leader in the development of trustworthy AI technologies worldwide. That was the main conclusion reached in the frame of the high-level workshop organised by the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) on 29 January 2020 at the European Parliament in Brussels. The first STOA event for this parliamentary term (2019-2024) drew a full house with Members of the European Parliament, European Commission leaders, academic experts and representatives of international organisations debating how to strike the right balance on AI. Harnessing the numerous benefits that the transformative power of AI can bring needs to also take account of the necessity to mitigate a number of potential risks – from hampering people's fundamental rights, such as privacy or non-discrimination – to undermining European values such as democracy, human dignity and the right to assemble. The event proved to be a timely occasion to discuss how Europe could maximise the benefits and address the challenges of AI in a human-centric way, coming only a few days before the publication of the European Commission's legislative plans on AI in the form of a White Paper on 19 February 2020.
Just over a month ago, Mamadou Ba was having dinner with friends when he received an email warning of "measures" against him and his family if he failed to "terminate political functions and leave Portuguese territory" within 48 hours. There were nine other recipients, including three members of Parliament. "This isn't something particularly new for me," Ba told Al Jazeera. "Last year, I had to move house after I received multiple death threats from neo-Nazi individuals who had made my address public on Facebook." Ba is an anti-racism activist and heads SOS Racismo.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology which is increasingly being utilised in society and the economy worldwide, and its implementation is planned to become more prevalent in coming years. AI is increasingly being embedded in our lives, supplementing our pervasive use of digital technologies. But this is being accompanied by disquiet over problematic and dangerous implementations of AI, or indeed, even AI itself deciding to do dangerous and problematic actions, especially in fields such as the military, medicine and criminal justice. These developments have led to concerns about whether and how AI systems adhere, and will adhere to ethical standards. These concerns have stimulated a global conversation on AI ethics, and have resulted in various actors from different countries and sectors issuing ethics and governance initiatives and guidelines for AI. Such developments form the basis for our research in this report, combining our international and interdisciplinary expertise to give an insight into what is happening in Australia, China, Europe, India and the US.
On 21 April 2021, the European Commission proposed a new, transformative legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the European Union. The proposal adopts a risk-based approach whereby the uses of artificial intelligence are categorised and restricted according to whether they pose an unacceptable, high, or low risk to human safety and fundamental rights. The policy is widely considered to be one of the first of its kind in the world which would, if passed, have profound and far-reaching consequences for organisations that develop or use technologies incorporating artificial intelligence. The European Commission's proposal has been in the making since 2017, when EU legislators enacted a resolution and a report with recommendations to the Commission on Civil Law Rules on Robotics. In 2020, the European Commission published a white paper on artificial intelligence.