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European Commission needs to be bolder on artificial intelligence


Innovation & Enterprise
S&D MEPs welcomed the fact the European Commission has come forward with proposals on the future of artificial intelligence but were disappointed by the ambition shown.
S&D Group Vice-President responsible for digital affairs, Josef Weidenholzer, said:
“The rapid expansion of robotics and artificial intelligence is going to profoundly change how we live and work in the coming years. This can bring huge benefits, helping us live longer and more enriching lives. The EU has huge potential in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI): talented entrepreneurs, motivated research centres, a large consumer market. The plan released today by the Commission is a step in the right direction, but is not enough.”
S&D MEP and author of the Parliament’s report on artificial intelligence, Mady Delvaux, said:
“As I said in my report last year, this is an opportunity the EU has to grasp immediately to ensure it is setting the global standard, not following it. We are already seeing different member states across Europe adopting national legislation which has endangered our cohesion and risks fracturing our market. We wanted to see bold proposals from the Commission, to put the EU at the forefront of this rapidly developing area.
“On the positive side, we are pleased with the creation of the EU Alliance on AI gathering different stakeholders to monitor the development of these new technologies and the creation of a Charter on Ethics. Both of these follow calls from Parliament’s report last year. New money for investment in industry and research and development is also to be welcomed. We do not have same level of funding as the US or China and this needs to be rectified.
“Despite some positive, the European Commission proposals did not go far enough in various aspects. On liability, the Commission has repeated its nice words but not come forward with any clear legislative proposal. If we want to lead the world in this area, we need a clear framework in which to operate. This is also the same for the social effects of the rise of AI, we wanted more from the Commission in terms of helping those left behind, not just more studies and expert panels.
“The European Commission has promised to come forward with legislative packages next year but this is already getting too late. Europe needs to take the lead now.”