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ITRE Committee adopts report on artificial intelligence and robotics to give directions on future legislation.

Today the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy adopted its own-initiative report on artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics by 49 votes to 1 and 4 abstentions.


It gives the political mandate and push for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics for the next legislature.


Industrial policy, jobs and investment


MEPs see a big potential for AI and robotics in manufacturing, health, energy and transport. In order for the EU to remain competitive, they believe it is essential to work proactively to promote AI and robotics and to increase European investment.


MEPs also urge member states to develop new training programmes that focus on developing the skills of workers, especially in the industries most affected by automation, so they can seize job opportunities within the new jobs created by artificial intelligence.


Ethical aspects


MEPs believe that AI needs to be guided by a code of ethics. Rules must therefore be developed to increase accountability and transparency of the algorithmic decision-making systems behind AI.


Quote


Rapporteur Ashley Fox (ECR, UK) said: “This is a key area and I am pleased that we have been able to make some strong suggestions on AI. The technology is not confined to the boundaries of the single market and it is imperative that the EU work at the international level to agree on standards.


Whilst we acknowledge the importance of member states coming together to make Europe a more attractive place for AI, we also note the value of differing strategies to provide competition and spark innovation.


It is vital that we ensure that we are able to understand why AI has arrived at certain decisions and that is why we have emphasised in this report the need for explainability. Without such safeguards in place we will not achieve a human centred approach.


Background and next steps


IMCO, JURI and LIBE Committees are associated committees to this report under Rule 54 and the ENVI Committee provided an opinion under Rule 53.


The own-initiative report still has to be approved by the Plenary of the European Parliament. This is tentatively scheduled to happen in February 2019 in Strasbourg.