European Commission launches White Paper on Artificial Intelligence

03/03/2020 23 Views
European Commission launches White Paper on Artificial Intelligence

The European Commission has launched on February 19 a White Paper on “Artificial Intelligence – A European approach to excellence and trust” which is open for consultation until May 19. This document builds up on existing documents such as the “Report:  Artificial Intelligence a European perspective” from 5 December 2018, the “Coordinated Plan on AI” from 7 December 2018, and the “Political guidelines for 2019-2024” launched by the new president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

With this White Paper, the European Commission aims to be at the forefront of the next (industrial) data wave by creating a so-called “ecosystem of excellence” and “ecosystem of trust” to boost the uptake of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and address the risks associated with certain uses of this new technology.

The White Paper on AI outlines Europe’s plans to regulate the Artificial Intelligence sector, adding to and expanding on the Commission’s aims to better prepare Europe for the digital age. Additionally, the White Paper contains the Commission’s framework for a formal regulatory body focused on AI, but doesn’t propose specific rules or laws to be adopted.

Overall, the White Paper recognises the opportunities AI presents to Europe’s digital economy and its different sectors, and presents the Commission’s vision for a coordinated approach to promoting the uptake of AI in the EU and addressing the risks associated with certain uses of AI.

Promoting the uptake of AI in Europe:

  • to review and update its 2018 Coordinated Plan on AI
  • facilitate the creation of AI excellence and testing centres
  • set up a new public-private partnership in AI, data and robotics
  • invest in educating and upskilling the workforce to develop AI skills
  • promote the adoption of AI by the public sector – “it is essential that public administrations, hospitals, etc. and other areas of public interest rapidly begin to deploy products and services that rely on AI in their activities. A specific focus will be in the areas of healthcare and transport where technology is mature for large-scale deployment
      • The Commission will initiate open and transparent sector dialogues giving priority to healthcare, rural administrations and public service operators in order to present an action plan to facilitate development, experimentation and adoption. The sector dialogues will be used to prepare a specific ‘Adopt AI programme’ that will support public procurement of AI systems, and help to transform public procurement processes themselves

Addressing the risks associated with AI: An Ecosystem of Trust

  1. Whether the AI was deployed in a high-risk sector; the White Paper states that any future legislation should “specifically and exhaustively” list such sectors, and mentions healthcare, transport, energy and parts of the public sector as examples of sectors that are likely to be “high-risk”.
  2. Whether the intended use — or the manner in which it is deployed — is likely to raise significant risks for any individual or company, in particular from the viewpoint of safety, consumer rights and fundamental rights.

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