One of the great controversies of the new century: the creation of Artificial Intelligence and its use in society. This imply not only social and economic commitments, but also ethical ones.
On 18 December of 2018 the group of high – level experts selected by the Commission for the development of IA made their first draft on ethical guidelines for the development and use of Artificial Intelligence .
AI is transforming the world. The introduction of this advanced technology in society is already a reality, not only with smart assistants in the home, but also in such important fields as medicine and national security . It undoubtedly involves a challenge in all sectors of our society , from education to scientific research .
That is why Europe tries to respond to the normal controversies that arise on this issue, proposing an ethical code to guarantee its use and development within the fundamental values and rights that govern our society.
Ultimately, this code aims to build confidence in Artificial Intelligence technology, protecting human dignity according to the AI European Alliance .
As Andrus Ansip, Vice President of the Commission for the Digital Single Market explained:
“ AI can bring great benefits to our societies, from helping to diagnose and cure cancers to reduce energy consumption. But for people to accept and use AI-based systems they need to trust them, know that their privacy is respected, that decisions are not biased. The work of the expert group is very important in this regard and I encourage everyone to share their comments to help finalize the guidelines . ”
The final text of this document, with the final guidelines of the Commission, is scheduled for March 2019 . With this document Europe will be defined globally on its ethical approach to Artificial Intelligence.
Europe has resources from professionals in the sector, robotics organizations, healthcare and transport companies, determined to be part of this global innovation. However, in order to be internationally competitive, European coordination is necessary to be able to follow technological advances and be at the forefront of AI innovation.
“ We need to invest at least 20,000 million euros at the end of 2020 . The Commission is playing its role: today, we are giving a boost to researchers so they can develop the next generation of technologies and artificial intelligence applications, and businesses . “ claims Andrus Ansip.
To promote financial support and encourage the participation of the public and private sectors, the Commission has started its contribution by increasing its investment to 1,500 million euros for the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.
In addition, the European Fund for Strategic Investments will support start-up companies for the implementation of AI, mobilizing 500 million for this initiative until 2020. Therefore, its intent is to increase the entrepreneurial and creative spirit, valuing digital and technological skills.
Another aspect that the Commission wants to take care of is to promote the conservation of jobs . Undoubtedly the AI introduction will create many jobs, but others will also disappear. The Commission proposes a modernization of the systems by boost specific job training towards preparation in advanced digital skills , adapted to new AI technologies, favoring labor traffic and maintaining social rights.
Whenever new technology is introduced that is capable of substantially transforming society , it is normal for ethical and legal issues to be raised regarding the responsibility it derives. Since the fact that an AI can make decisions for itself is undoubtedly a matter to consider .
The incorporation of AI in society is not excluded of this debate, and is in fact one of the technologies that most debates are having in recent years, especially regarding the protection of sensitive data, privacy and transparency .
It is true that the introduction of AI into the social system must be without harming people. Protecting your physical, psychological and financial security is essential for AI to be accepted in a society. In addition, they should favor the autonomy of man and not reduce it.
But beyond the legitimate doubts and the lack of initial confidence that AI can have in public opinion , AI can bring great benefits to society , not only at the social level as improvements in digital connectivity and traffic but in the scientific and medical field. They can help solve diseases and improve the quality of life , placate climate change and provide greater global security.
A technology that Europe cannot ignore if it wants to keep pace with progress and social technological innovation.