12 February 2019
Europe must take steps now to ensure it reaps the economic, social and technological benefits of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
A report by ECR MEP Ashley Fox, approved today by the European Parliament, highlights the potential benefits of AI in sectors a diverse as healthcare and finance.
It cautions against over-hasty regulation, stresses the need for governments to work with the private sector and calls on countries to prepare for AI-linked changes to employment patterns by adapting their education and welfare policies.
At a European Union level, the report recommends the establishment of an EU task force providing technical, ethical and regulatory expertise to ensure common standards.
Mr Fox said: “We have arrived at a pivotal point. AI has the same potential to transform society that the steam engine had three centuries ago. It can make us more prosperous, healthier and will create jobs we currently don’t even know exist.
“But just as with steam power, it will be those countries that embrace the technology early that reap the greatest benefits. Governments must work with private actors to drive investment and lay the foundations upon which AI can develop to society’s benefit.”
Mr Fox’s report states the AI should be guided by a code of ethics, with rules developed to increase the accountability and transparency of algorithmic decision-making systems.
He added: “Whether AI is driving our car or diagnosing a medical condition, new developments must be approached in a way that enables people to understand and trust the technology. Safeguards need to be designed to prevent AI being used for negative purposes.
“The EU should work at a global level to achieve these goals.”
The report will now pass to the European Commission to inform future AI legislation.
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