The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has underlined the importance of retaining an inclusive approach to Artificial Intelligence.
At a high level conference on the future implementation of Artificial Intelligence, robotics and digital services in policy and public health, held this week in Helsinki, EESC members emphasised the need for emerging technologies to support all Europeans. Representatives noted that the digital transformation as a whole must remain inclusive in order to meet the EU’s standards for equality and safety, with Artificial Intelligence initiatives in particular subject to a comprehensive certification process.
Ariane Rodert, president of the EESC Section for the Single Market, Production and Consumption (INT), said: “Artificial Intelligence must be developed in a safe, unbiased way and, above all, must be in keeping with the values of the EU. We need to ensure that Artificial Intelligence and its applications promote people’s wellbeing and empowerment, with due respect for fundamental rights.”
The conference covered sectors where the digital transformation is taking hold, such as healthcare and transport; and identified a need to implement progressive, inclusive policy to meet the evolving needs of technology producers and users. EESC member Franca Salis Madinier said: “The evolution of artificial intelligence needs to be guided, shaped and anticipated by social and civil dialogue. All stakeholders need to be involved: policymakers, social partners, consumers and NGOs, as well as experts and academics. It is crucial to identify and monitor disruptive developments in a timely manner.”
Pierre Jean Coulon, president of the EESC Section for Transport, Energy, Infrastructure and the Information Society (TEN) said: “Digitalisation is everywhere – in health, transport and energy – and it affects the lives of everyone. For this reason, we need to regulate developments in this field, to make sure that everybody can contribute to and benefit from the digital economy and society. Civil society must be involved and play an important role, fighting for transparency and protecting the public.”