EU to produce new regulatory framework and funding for AI development

  • The European Commission has released a white paper detailing a future European approach to AI, including a new regulatory framework and details of funding to attract investment.

    Artificial intelligence technology is currently revolutionising everything from city traffic planning and voice translation to cancer diagnosis, but the AI field is a bit of a wild west right now. Investment in AI tech is reaching record levels and some impressive tools have been developed as a result, but the tech has also been widely misapplied and misrepresented.

    Concerns have been raised over the use of AI in fields such as recruitment, with companies around the world starting to use unproven proprietary AI systems to screen candidates and even conduct video interviews. A recruitment AI's decisions could be potentially biased against minorities, women, and disabled people depending on the data sets it was trained on and the techniques used to develop it.

    The European Commission has now released a detailed white paper on its approach to developing a European AI ecosystem, with the primary goals of ensuring AI is developed to a high standard of excellence and ensuring that the public can trust the end result. This will involve provision of training in addition to a regulatory framework for AI development.

    While the exact details of any new laws aren't yet known, the commission has identified seven important goals the new regulatory framework will need to meet: Human agency and oversight; Technical robustness and safety; Privacy and data governance; Transparency; Diversity, non-discrimination and fairness; Societal and environmental wellbeing; and Accountability. 

    The report recognises that AI can do considerable good in "making products and processes safer" but can also do considerable harm to individuals in terms of safety, health, loss of privacy, and discrimination, making specific mention of the problem of access to employment.

    The plan also calls for EU-level funding in AI with the intention of attracting major investment, with the goal of reaching over €20 billion investment in AI each year across the EU. It will have a specific focus on SMEs to ensure that small companies and innovative start-ups have access to AI tools through digital innovation hubs.

    Source: EC White paper


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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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