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September 2018

EC's High-Level Expert Group on AI held its first workshop

In June 2018, 52 experts from academia, industry and trade associations were appointed to the European Commission's High-Level Expert Group on AI (HLEG AI). Pekka Ala-Pietilä, co-founder of Blyk and former president of Nokia, was appointed Chair of the AI HLEG.


The mission of the group is to support the implementation of the European initiative on AI. This will include the elaboration of recommendations on future AI-related policy development and on ethical, legal and societal issues related to AI, including mid to long-term socio-economic challenges. These will feed into the policy development process, the legislative evaluation process and the development of a next-generation digital strategy.


The group is also asked to make proposals to the Commission AI ethics guidelines, covering issues such as fairness, safety, transparency, the future of work, democracy and more broadly the impact on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, including privacy and personal data protection, dignity, consumer protection and non-discrimination.


The expert group will also support the Commission in engaging with a broader set of stakeholders, the so called European AI Alliance. The AI Alliance basically is an online platform of interested individual who want to be involved in the debate and contribute to the topics. The robotics community is cordially invited to join this platform and the debate.


So far, two working groups have been set up: one for drafting AI ethics guidelines and one for providing advise on a policy and investment strategy. As a first result, the working groups voiced a common desire for simple, accessible and practical ethics guidelines reflecting the uniqueness of a European approach to AI, based on European values but operating within a global context. Moreover, they assured the need for a specifically European approach, addressing very important issues such as the need to increase and retain AI talent in Europe and to build on European strengths. In the course of the discussions, it turned out that there is an urgent need for a common definition and understanding of artificial intelligence.


On 20 September 2018, the first workshop of the High Level Expert Group on AI took place. In-depth discussions were held on the issues of trusted AI, transparency and accountability, industry and ecosystem uptake of AI, AI infrastructure and enablers, and use-cases for the AI ethics guidelines.

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