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


04 May 2022


Justice & Home Affairs

The Socialists and Democrats have declared their support for the development and use of human-centric artificial intelligence technologies in the EU to help develop crucial areas of our society and economy. The S&Ds showed their support for the report of the Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age during the plenary debate in the European Parliament and the report was adopted this afternoon. AI can offer great benefits to society, including in the fields of healthcare and environmental protection, as well as opportunities for small and medium enterprises. The S&D Group wants the EU to benefit from all the opportunities AI brings, while ensuring we are protected from the potential hidden risks of these technologies, especially in relation to workers' rights and people’s private lives.

Brando Benifei MEP, the S&D negotiator on the issue of Artificial Intelligence, said:

“Artificial intelligence brings a lot of opportunities to people in their daily lives, but we have to make sure this fully respects human dignity, the environment and the achievements of democracy. The EU should lead in a global debate about artificial intelligence and work on settling global standards. What the S&D Group wants to avoid at any price is turning Europe into a surveillance society with the help of AI. Europe is a world champion in the protection of privacy, protection of personal data and workers’ rights. We should not allow any undermining of all the achievements we, the Socialists and Democrats, have fought for so hard throughout the years. The surveillance of workers or biometric recognition in public spaces are against these values and we will continue to fight so that they are not allowed in Europe.”

Ibán García del Blanco MEP, S&D spokesperson in the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age, said:

“After 18 months of work, our special committee has brought together a very balanced report where different aspects of human activity and challenges to the EU are reflected. Among them are the impact of AI on the daily lives of our citizens; its contribution to healthcare; the ways it can benefit the goals of the Green Deal; possible implications for democracy; the need for gender balance; and so many more. AI-powered surveillance in the workplace should not be allowed, as it severely compromises fundamental rights and mental health. We should continue a democratic dialogue with citizens, promoting AI literacy at all levels in order to have a technology that respects fundamental and workers’ rights.”




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