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European Commission Presents Artificial Intelligence Strategy

Updated: May 14, 2019

On 8 April 2019, the European Commission presented the next steps to be taken in building trust in Artificial Intelligence (AI). To do so, the Commission took forward the ethics guidelines as presented by the High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) and launched a pilot phase to ensure these guidelines for AI development can be implemented in practice. Additionally, the Commission has invited public authorities, industry, and research institutes to test the practicality of the detailed assessment list as drafted by the HLEG within the guidelines.

These plans are meant to compliment the Commission’s AI strategy of April 2018. This strategy was aimed at increasing public and private investments to at least €20 billion annually over the next decade. The objective for doing so was to make more data available, foster talent, and ensure trust.

Artificial Intelligence is a powerful tool that can be used to benefit a wide variety of sectors. However, AI also brings about new and serious challenges that raise legal and ethical questions. The EU Commission has decided to take a three-step approach to AI with the hope of strengthening its benefits and mitigating its negative consequences. The three steps are:

1. Setting out the key requirements for trustworthy AI

The HLEG has laid out the seven essentials for achieving trustworthy AI. These are:

  • Human agency and oversight

  • Robustness and safety

  • Privacy and data governance

  • Transparency

  • Diversity, non-discrimination and fairness

  • Societal and environmental well-being

  • Accountability

2. Launching a large-scale pilot phase for feedback from stakeholders

Coming in summer of 2019, the Commission will launch this pilot phase with a wide range of stakeholders from companies to public administrations to organizations. Entities can already sign up to the European AI Alliance to receive notifications of when the pilot starts. Additionally, the HLEG will aid relevant stakeholders in the Member States in presenting and explaining the guidelines.

3. International Consensus building for human-centric AI

Because technologies know no borders, the Commission finds it essential to bring AI ethics to the global stage. In order to do so, the Commission will strengthen cooperation with like-minded partners such as Japan, Canada or Singapore. The pilot phase will also include international organizations and other countries.



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