How is the European Union Gearing up for Boosting ‘Safe’ AI?

How is the European Union Gearing up for Boosting ‘Safe’ AI?

How is the European Union Gearing up for Boosting ‘Safe’ AI? European Commission is planning to encourage more AI investments and research in all EU nations. Recently, the EU parliament passed three proposals for the same.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the ability of a machine to display human-like capabilities such as reasoning, learning, planning, and creativity. It has played a major part in the digital transformation. Today, AI models are deployed in many domains, including finance, commerce, science, military, healthcare, law enforcement, and education. Hence, it is no brainer that AI is expected to play a significant role in shaping global competitiveness, offering notable societal, economic, and strategic advantages to early adopters and digital sovereignty. Owing to its growing popularity, it is possible that we shall have to make decisions about AI policies and regulations in the future. Currently, the European Union is trying to do the said.

The European Commission is striving to provide a more coherent European approach to AI. On February 19, it unveiled White Paper on Artificial Intelligence, which was a part of the European Union Commission’s ambitious agenda to regulate the tech sector of the EU’s 27 member nations. This white paper is supposed to influence the global regulatory debate. As per the document, the proposed regulatory framework is forged on the idea of the “high-risk” development, applications, and AI applications that involve significant risks for fundamental rights, consumer rights, and safety.

This whitepaper was designed to alleviate potential harm and permit accountability and oversight, which could set European nations apart from its global competitors regarding AI technologies. The key characteristics include requirements related to training data, data and record-keeping, the provision of information, technical accuracy and robustness, and human oversight, as well as specific requirements for certain AI applications, such as those used for remote biometric identification. This is to ensure companies that aim to enter the lucrative European market must prove their AI products meet the proposed EU standards. Thus, it would give an edge to the EU when it comes to setting ethical and regulatory standards. Further, in case of low-risk AI applications (burglar bots, AI-authored fake reviews) that may not be subject to these mandatory requirements, the European Commission has proposed a voluntary labeling compliance certification scheme for economic actors, but it doesn’t impose the same demands on law enforcement.

Many experts pointed out that this draft skipped update on facial recognition, i.e., imposed no new restrictions on facial recognition. However, the whitepaper suggested that this application’s training data can be based on the local European population to reflect its demographic diversity better and nullify the bias. Another set of experts believe that in the quest to bring transparency, the EU may force tech enterprises to share data else they might face bans or sanctions.

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