Sun. Nov 27th, 2022

Strasbourg, 3 May 2022

  • Parliament proposes an EU Roadmap to 2030
  • Huge benefits of using AI to address climate change, pandemics and the labour market
  • MEPs warn about risks to fundamental rights, particularly privacy

On Tuesday, the European Parliament adopted the final recommendations of its Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age (AIDA).

The text, adopted with 495 votes to 34, and 102 abstentions, says that the public debate on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) should focus on the technology’s enormous potential to complement human labour. It notes that the EU has fallen behind in the global race for tech leadership. There is a risk that standards will be developed elsewhere, often by non-democratic actors, while MEPs believe the EU needs to act as a global standard-setter in AI.

They identified policy options that could unlock AI’s potential in health, the environment and climate change, to help combat pandemics and global hunger, and enhance people’s quality of life through personalised medicine. MEPs say that, combined with the necessary support infrastructure, education and training, AI can increase capital and labour productivity, innovation, sustainable growth and job creation.

The EU should not always regulate AI as a technology, say MEPs, and the level of regulatory intervention should be proportionate to the type of risk associated with the particular use of an AI system.

Risks of mass surveillance

Noting the EU’s push for a global agreement on common standards for the responsible use of AI, MEPs encourage like-minded democracies to work together to jointly shape this international debate. They also stress that AI technologies could pose important ethical and legal questions, and voice concerns about military research and technological developments into lethal autonomous weapon systems.

Parliament points out that certain AI technologies enable the automation of information processing at an unprecedented scale, paving the way for potential mass surveillance and other unlawful interference in fundamental rights. MEPs warn that authoritarian regimes can apply AI systems to control, exert mass surveillance and rank their citizens or restrict freedom of movement, while dominant tech platforms use AI to obtain more personal information. For MEPs, this profiling poses risks to democratic systems.

The EU should therefore, according to the Parliament, prioritise international cooperation with like-minded partners in order to safeguard fundamental rights and at the same time cooperate on minimising new technological threats.

Quotes

Lead MEP Axel Voss (EPP, DE) said: “With this report, we clearly show AI will be a booster for digitalisation and a game-changer in global digital competition Our AI roadmap puts the EU in a position to take a global leadership role.”

“The EU now has the unique chance to promote a human-centric and trustworthy approach to AI. One that is based on fundamental rights, which manages risks while taking full advantage of the benefits AI can bring for the whole of society. We need a legal framework that leaves space for innovation, and a harmonised digital single market with clear standards. We need maximum investment and a robust and sustainable digital infrastructure that all citizens can access,” he added.

AIDA Committee Chair Dragoş Tudorache (Renew, RO) said: “Our future global competitiveness in the digital sector depends on the rules we put in place today. These rules need to be in line with our values: democracy, the rule of law, fundamental rights, and respect for the rules-based international order. Succeeding in this is paramount, as the struggle between authoritarianism and democracy is becoming more and more acute – and unfortunately more deadly, as we have seen with Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine.”

Next steps

The report will feed into upcoming parliamentary work on AI, in particular the AI Act, which is currently being discussed in the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) committees. The AI Act is to be voted on jointly by the two committees in late September.

Background

The AIDA Committee started work in September 2020. It was tasked with exploring the impact of AI on the EU economy and its different sectors, analysing the approach to AI of third countries, and charting the road ahead for the EU. MEPs held several discussions, the results of which fed into a final report that aims to establish an AI Roadmap up to 2030.

OPINION on the proposal for a regulation laying down harmonised rules on Artificial Intelligence (Artificial Intelligence Act) and amending certain Union Legislative Acts – PE699.056v02-00

OPINION on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down harmonised rules on Artificial Intelligence (Artificial Intelligence Act) and amending certain Union Legislative Acts
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
Susana Solís PérezSource :© European Union, 2022 – EP

Das Plenum nimmt heute den Abschlussbericht des Sonderausschusses zur Künstlichen Intelligenz im digitalen Zeitalter (AIDA) an. Axel Voss (CDU), rechtspolitischer Sprecher der EVP-Fraktion und Berichterstatter des Abschlussberichts erklärt dazu:

„Künstliche Intelligenz wird die Digitalisierung vorantreiben und den globalen digitalen Wettbewerb entscheidend verändern. Wir wollen, dass die EU bei Künstlicher Intelligenz eine führende Rolle übernimmt.

Wir haben jetzt die einmalige Chance, einen menschenzentrierten und vertrauenswürdigen Regulierungsansatz für KI auf der Grundlage der Grundrechte zu fördern, der die Risiken beherrscht und gleichzeitig die Vorteile voll ausschöpft, die KI für die gesamte Gesellschaft bringen kann. Das gilt gerade auch in den Bereichen Gesundheit, Nachhaltigkeit, Arbeitsmarkt, Wettbewerbsfähigkeit und Sicherheit.

Um im Bereich der KI wettbewerbsfähig zu sein, brauchen wir in Europa einen Rechtsrahmen, der Raum für Innovationen lässt. Dafür müssen wir unsere gesetzgeberischen Prozesse beschleunigen und den Zugang zu Daten verbessern. Ziel muss es sein, den digitalen Binnenmarkt endlich vollständig zu harmonisieren und eine nachhaltige digitale Infrastruktur mit schneller Konnektivität aufzubauen.

Wir müssen sicherstellen, dass wir beim digitalen Wandel niemanden zurücklassen und unsere Bürgerinnen und Bürger mit den notwendigen Kenntnissen ausstatten, auch um KI-Talente in der EU zu halten. Dafür müssen wir klare Prioritäten setzen und unsere Kräfte bündeln, um europäische Projekte in dem Bereich zu beschleunigen und umzusetzen.“

Hintergrund:

Der Sonderausschuss wurde im Jahr 2020 eingesetzt, um einen Fahrplan in Reaktion auf die wirtschaftlichen und gesellschaftlichen Herausforderungen von KI zu erstellen. Im Abschlussbericht wird hervorgehoben, dass die EU rasch handeln muss, um die Chancen der KI-Technologien zu nutzen. Mit der Annahme des Abschlussberichts endet das Mandat des Sonderausschusses.

 


Artificial intelligence must benefit humans, not just be a tool for a surveillance society, say S&Ds

In the final report of the Committee onArtificialIntelligence (AIDA), set to be adopted by the European Parliament today, Renew Europe calls for a regulatory framework to make the EU an AI-leader setting the global standards for an ethically responsible AI infrastructure that respects fundamental rights and supports innovation.

“Our aim is to build human-centric AI, which will serve our people while respecting their privacy. The report encourages to use more solutions based on AI and is carried out by the sense of urgency. The European Union must significantly increase its investments in AI so we would have competitive solutions. I hope this report will lead the way in the development of AI in Europe”, said Andrus Ansip, Renew Europe’s shadow rapporteur on the ‘Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age’ report.

Identifying the enormous benefits of using AI against climate change, pandemics and cyberattacks, as well as in the labour market, the report presents a roadmap of the steps the EU has to take to unlock the full potential of AI while also combating the challenges ahead.

Outlining several recommendations, the report seeks to level up efforts to prevent digital tools from becoming an instrument of manipulation in the hands of authoritarian regimes, establish an EU Cyber Defence Agency and prevent unnecessary administrative barriers for SMEs and start-ups.

Svenja Hahn, Renew Europe’s Coordinator in the AIDA committee, added: “With the report of the Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence, the European Parliament defined its vision for the role of Artificial Intelligence in our societies. It is now crucial to implement the main takeaways in the upcoming AI Act. The EU’s AI Regulation must foster tech innovation in Europe, supports start-ups and SMEs, guarantee civil rights and ensure consumer protection in the digital age.”

Dragoș Tudorache, chair of the AIDA Committee and rapporteur for the upcoming AI legislation, concluded: “ArtificialIntelligence is no longer a technical subject. AI is political or, rather, it is geopolitical. I am happy that in our work in AIDA, and in the report, we did not shy away from taking geopolitical sides: we need closer cooperation with our likeminded, democratic, partners in setting the rules of the digital future. We need to make strategic choices, based on our values.”

Read more here.

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