I welcome the Communications made by the Commission on the 25th of April 2018 and on the 7th of December 2018. In my opinion, a proposal of hard law would have been more efficient to send the message the EU is practically creating a common legislative framework on AI and to prevent from a fragmentation of the market. Such legislative proposal could have ensured the defense of European values. The goal of a Trustworthy AI through ethical purpose and technical robustness requirements promoted by this working document is a good thing. However, I would like to do some comments.
The Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a document prepared by the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI HLEG). This independent expert group was set up by the European Commission in June 2018, as part of the AI strategy announced earlier that year. The AI HLEG presented a first draft of the Guidelines in December 2018. Following further deliberations by the group in light of discussions on the European AI Alliance, a stakeholder consultation and meetings with representatives from Member States, the Guidelines were revised and published in April 2019. In parallel, the AI HLEG also prepared a revised document which elaborates on a definition of Artificial Intelligence used for the purpose of its deliverables.
The High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence ("AI HLEG"), an independent expert group set up by the European Commission in June 2018 as part of its AI strategy, has published its final Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence ("AI") (the "Guidelines"). These Guidelines form part of a wider focus by the Commission on AI, with President-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen commenting most recently on July 16, in her proposed political guidelines, that: "In my first 100 days in office, I will put forward legislation for a coordinated European approach on the human and ethical implications of Artificial Intelligence…". The AI HLEG appreciates that AI has the potential to benefit a wide range of sectors and has a wide variety of uses. However, it also acknowledges that the use of AI also brings new challenges and raises various legal and ethical questions. It is with this in mind that the Guidelines have been developed: with a view to providing a framework to achieve and operationalize Trustworthy AI.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become an area of strategic importance and a key driver of economic development. It can bring solutions to many societal challenges from treating diseases to minimising the environmental impact of farming. However, socio-economic, legal and ethical impacts have to be carefully addressed. It is essential to join forces in the European Union to stay at the forefront of this technological revolution, to ensure competitiveness and to shape the conditions for its development and use (ensuring respect of European values). The Commission is increasing its annual investments in AI by 70% under the research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.
As made clear by our principles for Trust and Transparency, IBM has always understood that we need to lead by demonstrating responsible adoption and use of new technologies that we develop and bring to the world. That is why we are a big supporter of the EU's work to develop Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI, now nearing completion. The guidelines will cement Europe's position as a global pioneer for artificial intelligence that is developed and deployed responsibly and ethically. I have the privilege of being a member of the High Level Expert Group on AI selected by the European Commission and mandated to develop ethics, policy and investment recommendations for AI. Work is ongoing in all three areas.