Commissioner Gabriel Mariya urges a new collaborative approach to tackle AI ethical impact

September 19, 2018 in

The ethical and economic impact of artificial intelligence was at the center of the Keynote speech by Commissioner Gabriel, held on September 18 at GSMA Mobile 360 Series – Europe event in Brussels.

During her speech, Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, underlined the need for a strong European approach to AI, which, together with machine learning, hold great promise for the future and would need EU Member States to join forces and make their voices heard in the discussions around AI ethics.

As the Commissioner explained to the GSMA audience, the Commission’s strategy for AI includes three dimensions:

  • Increasing investments to boost the EU's technological and industrial capacity as well as AI uptake across the economy;
  • Preparing for socio-economic changes brought about by AI;
  • Ensuring an appropriate ethical and legal framework.

To implement this strategy, the Commission will further increase its investment in AI in the next budget period, mainly through two programmes: Horizon Europe, the EU's flagship programme to support research and innovation, and the new Digital Europe programme.

Horizon Europe will invest €15 billion, out of a total of nearly €100 billion for 2021-2027, in ‘Digital and Industry', which includes AI as a key activity. On the other side, Digital Europe will deal with AI, one of the programme's priorities, with a budget of €2.5 billion.

As regards the ethical challenges linked to AI, the Commissioner said:

“It is our duty to ensure the technology is developed and safe, while accountability is clear. Choices should not be biased and we as humans [must] understand how the decisions are made. We must ensure AI is developed and applied in an appropriate legal framework, in line with union values and our human rights, with ethical principles and citizens at its heart.”

On these premises, the dedicated High-Level Group on Artificial Intelligence is working on a proposal for ethics guidelines.

Read the complete speech here: