Ethical artificial intelligence in the EU

ethical artificial intelligence
© iStock/kentoh

Earlier this year the EU announced its intention to become a world leader in ethical artificial intelligence, promoting user security and data protection as well as cutting edge research.

As the US and China surge forward in artificial intelligence research and development – by 2030 the Chinese artificial intelligence industry is projected to be worth $150 billion (€132.6 billion) – the EU must find its niche in the burgeoning industry or be left behind. Researchers and policymakers alike have suggested that the primary advantage the EU has over its competitors is its dedication to ethical artificial intelligence deployment, combined with stringent data protection regulation.

A high level conference at the European Parliament this afternoon will discuss research and innovation across the EU, covering the substantial progress made by Horizon 2020 – which has funded more than 18,000 research projects for a total of over €31 billion – and laying out EU research priorities going forward. Among other events at the conference, the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies will present a study on an integrated vision for the future of artificial intelligence. Horizon 2020 has pledged €1.5 billion to ethical artificial intelligence research by 2020; this is expected to be boosted by another €2.5 billion from public and private partnerships.

Earlier this month German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a €3 billion fund for ethical artificial intelligence funding, aimed at incentivising artificial intelligence developments in the automotive, healthcare and manufacturing sectors. Merkel, who has long been an advocate for artificial intelligence development in industry, said: “We have excellence clusters in the field of artificial intelligence and here we will develop an overall strategy.”

University College London will unveil a new integrated centre for artificial intelligence research by the end of the year, while the UK’s £1 billion AI Sector Deal has spawned the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, promoting ethical artificial intelligence and data use. Meanwhile in the private sector, London has topped a list of European cities developing artificial intelligence technology, with more media companies in the city relying on artificial intelligence than in San Francisco or New York.

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