JRC publishes new study on Artificial Intelligence
The European Commission' Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published a new report on "Artificial Intelligence: A European Perspective". The study was launched as the EC and Member States agreed on a "coordinated plan for Artificial Intelligence "made in Europe"" that was presented on 7 December 2018. The main message of the JRC's report is that if we don't act, AI's impact on our lives, our cognitive processes, our jobs and our interpersonal and societal relations will be decided elsewhere. The study aims to take stock of the development of AI in the world today and lay out some of the options and pitfalls for EU policymakers in the face of strong competition, and competing visions, from the US and China.
The report looks at recent developments in AI resulting from increased processing power, improvements in algorithms, and the exponential growth in the volume and variety of digital data. It finds that while resulting applications of AI can be extremely beneficial, they also raise many concerns, especially in sensitive areas like political campaigning, human resource management or the criminal justice system. A key concern is that many AI techniques are like “black boxes” and we do not have a full understanding of their inner workings.
According to the report, AI players are currently concentrated in the US, China and Europe, with distinct differences in their approach. In between 'AI for profit' and 'AI for control', Europe could embrace 'AI for society', and make fair AI systems which are 'secure and ethical by design' the hallmark of European development in this field. The danger of a brain drain of top talent from Europe in this field is also highlighted, as is the key question of the use of data. Finally, the report also claims that AI will reshuffle the current jobs landscape with both losers and winners.
The report concludes that if the EU wants to get AI right, it needs a coordinated strategy building on Europe's strengths in research and industry; on its traditions in balancing the individual and societal interest, and on its diversity.
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