Artificial intelligence: The European Union must be a global standard News

The text, passed with 495 votes in favor, 34 against and 102 abstentions, ensures that public debate on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) should focus on the huge potential to complement human work. This indicates that the European Union is lagging behind in the race for global technological dominance. As such, it risks developing later AI standards abroad, often by undemocratic actors. According to MEPs, the union must act as a global reference in this regard.

They have identified several policy options that could unlock the potential of AI for health, the environment and climate change. In addition, the technology can contribute to the fight against epidemics and global famines, as well as to improve the quality of life of citizens through the development of personalized medicines. According to MEPs, when combined with the support needed for infrastructure, education and training, AI can increase capital and labor productivity, contribute to innovation, drive sustainable growth and create jobs.

EU AI should not be regulated as a technology, MEPs say, and the level of regulatory intervention should be consistent with the type of risk involved in using the AI ​​system.

Mass surveillance risks

While acknowledging the EU’s desire to build a global agreement on common standards aimed at ensuring responsible use of AI, MEPs called on like-minded democracies to work together to address this challenge at the international level. They also noted that AI technologies could raise big ethical and legal questions, raising concerns about military research and technological advances in lethal autonomous weapons systems.

Furthermore, Parliament observes that some AI technologies enable the automation of data processing on an unprecedented scale, paving the way for widespread surveillance and other illegal interference with fundamental rights. For example, MEPs warn against the use of AI by many authoritarian regimes to control AI, conduct extensive surveillance, classify their citizens and restrict their freedom of movement, while influential technology platforms use AI to obtain more personal information about their users. For MEPs, this use of profiling presents a danger to the democratic system.

Therefore, according to Parliament, the EU should prioritize international cooperation with like-minded partners to protect fundamental rights when cooperating to reduce new technological risks.

Quotes

Reporter Axel Voss (EPP, DE) says: “Through this report, we clearly demonstrate that AI will drive digitization and be a game-changer in the global race for digitalisation. We need to take advantage of this unique opportunity to advance a credible and human-centered approach to AI, a fundamental rights-based approach that controls the risks that AI poses to society as a whole while controlling risks. A consistent digital single market with open framework for innovation and clear standards, as well as maximum investment and a sustainable digital infrastructure accessible to all citizens. “

AIDA Committee Chair Dragos Tudorrache (Renew Europe, RO) added: “Our future competition in the digital sector depends on the rules we make today. These rules must be in line with our values: democracy, the rule of law, fundamental rights and respect. For a rule-based international order, it is essential that we achieve that, as the gap between authoritarianism and democracy widens, so does life, as we see with Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. “

The next step

The report will feed into future parliamentary proceedings on AI, in particular the AI ​​legislation currently being considered by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and the Civil Liberties, Justice and Business Committee Internal (LIBE). The AI ​​Act is due for a joint vote of the two committees at the end of September.

Context

The Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in the Digital Age began its activities in September 2020. In its order, it aimed to analyze the impact of AI on the EU economy and its various sectors, analyzing third country strategies. AI and to chart the way forward. The committee has held several hearings and debates to contribute to its final report, which aims to set an AI roadmap for 2030.

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