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S&Ds: With binding standards on ethics, we can make AI safer and more trustworthy in Europe


01 Oct 2020



S&D MEPs are calling for binding standards in Europe on ethical principles for artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure these new technologies are safer, more trustworthy and respect fundamental rights.

Today, MEPs voted on the report on a framework of ethical aspects of artificial intelligence in the legal affairs committee.

Ibán Garcia del Blanco, S&D rapporteur on the framework of ethical aspects of artificial intelligence, said:

“With Artificial Intelligence fast becoming part of our everyday lives, now is the time to look seriously at the opportunities and the risks these new technologies pose and at the same time work to make them more trustworthy for citizens. Now is the time to set binding standards in Europe on the ethical development, deployment and use of AI and to make it a world-leader in this context.

“The S&D Group is demanding future-proof and technologically neutral clear rules for the first time in the EU to apply to the development, deployment and use of all AI technology, especially that which is considered high-risk. An EU legal framework will make sure that the respect for human dignity, autonomy and safety is guaranteed in all AI technology. With high-risk AI technologies, we need to go further to make sure that crucial principles, like human oversight and control, respecting non-discrimination, safety, transparency, accountability, social responsibility, gender equality or environmental sustainability, are complied with by developers, deployers and users.

“AI’s influence in society and the economy extends to every corner of the EU which is why we believe it is necessary to ensure there is more coordination at the EU level between national supervisory authorities and the Commission, as well as any other existing or future EU bodies. A European Agency for Artificial Intelligence would be the best way to efficiently guarantee that coordination. Reinforcing citizens’ trust on AI technologies by providing them with full digital literacy will bring added value in raising awareness of the opportunities and risks in AI development. When it comes to ensuring equal treatment and safety for all and protecting fundamental rights, there can be no short-cuts anywhere in the EU.”

Tiemo Wölken, S&D coordinator for legal affairs, said:

“The challenge in a risk-based approach to the development, deployment and use of AI technologies in the EU is to strike the right but crucial balance between protecting our citizens and earning their trust, on the one hand, and supporting innovation and technological advancement, on the other. We are confident that we are proposing a framework of legal obligations for technologies that have a high risk potential from an ethical perspective that does just that while focusing on other important issues in this context such as governance, the right to redress or the protection of whistle-blowers. It is a cautious but determined first step in the direction of making the EU yet again set the example worldwide on how to regulate based on its social and ethical values rather than purely economic interests.”


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