- Lara-Joyce Käser
Dispute about the leading star in the field of AI or the agenda?
The delegates largely agreed on putting the future of artificial intelligence in the European Union on top of the agenda. After hearing the opening statements, the hope for a heated debate got a little abandoned. Surprisingly all delegates highlighted the undeniable use of Artificial Intelligence without neglecting the risks and especially the ethical aspects. Let’s see whether the discussion will stay peaceful or not and whether the Council of the European Union will manage to agree on an outcome document or slight nuances will cause trouble in the end. Nonetheless, there are different views on how to approach the topic, is the answer to regulations on AI European? Or will single Member States try to go their own way?
Introducing the necessity of artificial intelligence in respect to future progress, the delegates agree on fostering research and development. Ironically, multiple nations claim to be the leading star in this explicit research field. In order for the EU to compete with China and USA, the delegates need to find a compromise on a united way of approaching further innovations. The economic benefits and worldwide competition will surely lead to further discourse about how far the regulations should go.
Nevertheless, most countries agree on including AI in their educational system in order to prevent the misuse of these powerful systems. While there is uncertainty whether this should be decided on EU level, Bulgaria refers to the competence of the individual states to implement changes in the educational system.
For now, especially the ethical aspect took a huge part in the debate. Quoting Poland: “humans should be the subject not the object of decisions”. Focusing on the danger of biased algorithms, there seems to be a controversy about whether this has to be prevented by improving the data used for building up new artificial intelligence systems or by regulations such as banning machines from decisions which could lead to data-based discrimination.
In the following sessions, we will surely see the delegates trying to find alliances, build bonds and start working on their outcome documents. They still need to define “high-risk” AI systems to which special rules will apply and come up with a proposal which supports the chances of AI and limits the risks.