The European Commission (EC) yesterday presented its ideas for regulating AI in hopes of driving champions in this strategic sector. "We want the application of these new technologies to be worthy of the trust of our citizens (...). We encourage a responsible approach to man-centered artificial intelligence, ”said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EC.
Officials in Brussels acknowledge that European companies lost the boat of the first wave of the internet revolution, with Spotify being the only major player in front of Google, Facebook or Amazon.
But Europe has taken the lead in rules that regulate the internet, such as its General Data Protection Regulation (RGDP), praised as a global standard to protect data.
European Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton wants to uphold the AI standard: "As with the GDPR, we have our own rules" and "we will ensure that the individual and fundamental rights of the EU are respected."
Facial recognition is one of the most evocative examples of artificial intelligence, causing dystopian big brother nightmares by tracking citizens' movements.
Reports that Brussels would require a moratorium on its use were unfounded with EU officials claiming that this technology is already widely deployed.
"What we will say is: Let's pause and find out if there are ... circumstances in which remote facial recognition should be authorized," said Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager. "Artificial intelligence is not good or bad in itself. It all depends on why and how it is used, ”added Vestager.
Regulating AI “is a bit like the Wild West. We start in virgin land where you do what you want and then we organize ourselves ”, in Breton's words.
The EU's attitude towards AI will be based on risk: the more dangerous or controversial its use, the stricter the rules. This strategy is welcomed by companies who fear that Brussels will try to establish general rules for entire industries and thus stifle innovation.
Instead, the strategy will consider activities on a case-by-case basis, freeing up basic uses such as translation or maps, but keeping medical technology under close control.
EU officials insist that the bloc's strategy is not intended to be a declaration of war against the United States and China, the main players in the deployment of AI. The concern is compounded by talks about the division of the world into digital spheres of influence, with Europe trapped between Washington and Beijing.
But "in terms of security, regardless of the origin of the products, a certain number of rules will have to be accepted in order to operate in the EU," according to Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders. Vestager, who explained that the plans refer more to the definition of an AI approach than to the desire to impose standards outside borders.
WITHOUT AGREEMENT WITH THE UNITED KINGDOM
(EFE) The ambassadors of the EU countries did not manage yesterday to approve the mandate to negotiate the relationship with the United Kingdom after Brexit, and they will continue working on the sections of the text related to equal conditions. On February 3, the EC published its proposal, in which it offered a "highly ambitious" trade agreement with no tariffs or quotas for all goods and stressed the need for a level playing field.
EU launches its plan against China and the US in the global digital race. (s.f.). Retrieved March 5, 2020, from https://www.portafolio.co/internacional/ue-lanza-su-plan-frente-a-china-y-ee-uu-en-la-carrera-digital-mundial-538267