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Parliamentary questions
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8 June 2018
Answer given by Ms Gabriel on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: P-002008/2018

The issues raised by the Honourable Members are amongst the reasons why, on 25 April 2018, the Commission adopted its communication on Artificial Intelligence for Europe.(1) It outlines an EU approach to Artificial Intelligence (AI) with three dimensions: (1) boosting the EU’s technological and industrial capacity and AI uptake across the economy; (2) preparing for socioeconomic changes brought about by AI; and (3) ensuring an appropriate ethical and legal framework.

The goal for the EU is to stay at the forefront of AI and shape its development and deployment. This includes standards. A body of standards exists to underpin the EU safety rules, and is adapted as necessary to respond to technological progress.

While an assessment of the current regulatory framework for robots concluded that it is flexible enough to enable technologies such as AI(2), the Commission, as announced in the April 2018 Communication, will investigate further the need to explicitly address AI.

Furthermore, the Commission is setting up the European AI Alliance, a forum of stakeholders and experts that will address ethical questions in AI, including algorithmic bias.

These approaches, together with strengthening research and innovation, stepping up investment, bringing AI to businesses and potential users, and measures to ensure an appropriate ethical and legal framework, will strongly defend the interests of developers and users.

The Commission considers it crucial to strike the right balance between innovation and protection. Regulation should allow innovation to thrive so that the EU can reap the maximum benefits from AI. At the same time, there should be an appropriate level of protection, so that the development and deployment of this technology can take place safely in an atmosphere of trust.

(1)COM(2018) 237 final
(2)SWD(2018) 160.

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