EUA welcomes EC's new AI ethics guidelines
The European University Association (EUA) has welcomed the European Commission's Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence, published on 8 April 2019. The guidelines had been prepared by a High-Level Expert Group appointed in June 2018. As a next step, the EC will launch a pilot phase, inviting industry, research institutes and public authorities to test the detailed assessment list drafted by the High-Level Expert Group, which complements the guidelines. The purpose of the guidelines is to promote trust in artificial intelligence among citizens and build a competitive advantage for Europe in the field, as well as outlining key European values and principles that need to be taken into consideration.
The guidelines propose three preconditions to achieve “trustworthy artificial intelligence”: (1) it should comply with the law, (2) it should fulfill ethical principles and (3) it should be robust. The preconditions are complemented by seven key requirements that artificial intelligence applications should respect to be considered trustworthy: i) human agency and oversight; ii) robustness and safety; iii) privacy and data governance; iv) transparency; v) diversity, non-discrimination and fairness; vi) societal and environmental well-being; vii) accountability. The guidelines also include an assessment list that operationalises the key requirements, and offer guidance to implementation.
EUA supports the EC's guidelines, as it sees Artificial Intelligence (AI) already having a high impact on societies and the economy, thus raising many ethical and legal questions that EU and the society at large should address to avoid the risk of misuse. EUA regards the guidelines proposed as quite general, meaning that they could be widely applied in many other industrial technology and business service sectors. EUA calls on the EC to maintain a vigilant attitude towards emerging applications, and to establish a structured dialogue with universities on further developments, as they will be key in fostering the understanding of AI ethical issues as well as in ensuring adequate training for future developers, deployers and end-users, and for ethicists in this area.
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