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Strengthening transparency and integrity via the new ‘Independent Ethics Body’ (IEB)

31-10-2020

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, provides an overview of transparency and integrity-related elements in the current EU setting, covering both substantive elements (including, in particular, conflict of interest and revolving-doors) as well as the body in charge of ethical control and guidance. Based on a comparison covering France, Ireland and Canada, this study proposes an ...

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO Committee, provides an overview of transparency and integrity-related elements in the current EU setting, covering both substantive elements (including, in particular, conflict of interest and revolving-doors) as well as the body in charge of ethical control and guidance. Based on a comparison covering France, Ireland and Canada, this study proposes an ‘Independent Ethics Body’ (IEB) via a new interinstitutional agreement.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

FRISCHHUT Markus

European framework on ethical aspects of artificial intelligence, robotics and related technologies

28-09-2020

The EU can become a global standard-setter in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) ethics. Common EU legislative action on ethical aspects of AI could boost the internal market and establish an important strategic advantage. While numerous public and private actors around the globe have produced ethical guidelines in this field, there is currently no comprehensive legal framework. The EU can profit from the absence of a competing global governance model and gain full 'first mover' advantages. ...

The EU can become a global standard-setter in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) ethics. Common EU legislative action on ethical aspects of AI could boost the internal market and establish an important strategic advantage. While numerous public and private actors around the globe have produced ethical guidelines in this field, there is currently no comprehensive legal framework. The EU can profit from the absence of a competing global governance model and gain full 'first mover' advantages. Building on the EU's economic and regulatory powers, common EU legislative action has great potential to provide European industry with a competitive edge. Furthermore, EU action can facilitate the adoption of EU standards globally and ensure that the development, uptake and diffusion of AI is based on the values, principles and rights protected in the EU. Those benefits cannot be achieved by actions of individual Member States. Thus, the success and benefits of EU action are contingent on the ability of the EU to take timely, common legislative action and to back this action up with strong democratic oversight, accountability and enforcement. The analyses of this European added value assessment suggest that a common EU framework on ethics has the potential to bring the European Union €294.9 billion in additional GDP and 4.6 million additional jobs by 2030.

Artificial intelligence: From ethics to policy

24-06-2020

There is little doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will revolutionise public services. However, the power for positive change that AI provides simultaneously has a potential for negative impacts on society. AI ethics work to uncover the variety of ethical issues resulting from the design, development, and deployment of AI. The question at the centre of all current work in AI ethics is: 'How can we move from AI ethics to specific policy and legislation for governing ...

There is little doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will revolutionise public services. However, the power for positive change that AI provides simultaneously has a potential for negative impacts on society. AI ethics work to uncover the variety of ethical issues resulting from the design, development, and deployment of AI. The question at the centre of all current work in AI ethics is: 'How can we move from AI ethics to specific policy and legislation for governing AI?' Based on a framing of 'AI as a social experiment', this study arrives at policy options for public administrations and governmental organisations who are looking to deploy AI/ML solutions, as well as the private companies who are creating AI/ML solutions for use in the public arena. The reasons for targeting this application sector concern: the need for a high standard of transparency, respect for democratic values, and legitimacy. The policy options presented here chart a path towards accountability; procedures and decisions of an ethical nature are systematically logged prior to the deployment of an AI system. This logging is the first step in allowing ethics to play a crucial role in the implementation of AI for the public good.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

DG, EPRS_This study has been written by Dr Aimee van Wynsberghe of Delft University of Technology and co-director of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.

The ethics of artificial intelligence: Issues and initiatives

11-03-2020

This study deals with the ethical implications and moral questions that arise from the development and implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. It also reviews the guidelines and frameworks that countries and regions around the world have created to address these. It presents a comparison between the current main frameworks and the main ethical issues, and highlights gaps around mechanisms of fair benefit sharing; assigning of responsibility; exploitation of workers; energy demands ...

This study deals with the ethical implications and moral questions that arise from the development and implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. It also reviews the guidelines and frameworks that countries and regions around the world have created to address these. It presents a comparison between the current main frameworks and the main ethical issues, and highlights gaps around mechanisms of fair benefit sharing; assigning of responsibility; exploitation of workers; energy demands in the context of environmental and climate changes; and more complex and less certain implications of AI, such as those regarding human relationships.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

DG, EPRS This study has been drafted by Eleanor Bird, Jasmin Fox-Skelly, Nicola Jenner, Ruth Larbey, Emma Weitkamp and Alan Winfield from the Science Communication Unit at the University of the West of England, at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA), and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.

Artificial intelligence [What Think Tanks are Thinking]

21-02-2020

Artificial intelligence (AI) is usually understood as the ability for a machine to display human-like capabilities such as reasoning, learning, planning and creativity. The 'Holy Grail' for many governments and companies seeking to benefit from the digital revolution, the first to invent and apply true AI could achieve an enormous advantage in economic and military terms. However, there are serious ethical implications in such potential developments. Many aspects of AI have already been applied since ...

Artificial intelligence (AI) is usually understood as the ability for a machine to display human-like capabilities such as reasoning, learning, planning and creativity. The 'Holy Grail' for many governments and companies seeking to benefit from the digital revolution, the first to invent and apply true AI could achieve an enormous advantage in economic and military terms. However, there are serious ethical implications in such potential developments. Many aspects of AI have already been applied since the 2000s in machines with sufficiently fast processing speeds, equipped with learning techniques and fed large amounts of data. Current versions of AI help to drive cars, beat chess champions, and offer excellent medical diagnostics, to take a few examples. This note offers links to recent commentaries, studies and reports from international think tanks on AI and related issues.

EU guidelines on ethics in artificial intelligence: Context and implementation

19-09-2019

The discussion around artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and their impact on society is increasingly focused on the question of whether AI should be regulated. Following the call from the European Parliament to update and complement the existing Union legal framework with guiding ethical principles, the EU has carved out a 'human-centric' approach to AI that is respectful of European values and principles. As part of this approach, the EU published its guidelines on ethics in AI in April 2019 ...

The discussion around artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and their impact on society is increasingly focused on the question of whether AI should be regulated. Following the call from the European Parliament to update and complement the existing Union legal framework with guiding ethical principles, the EU has carved out a 'human-centric' approach to AI that is respectful of European values and principles. As part of this approach, the EU published its guidelines on ethics in AI in April 2019, and European Commission President-elect, Ursula von der Leyen, has announced that the Commission will soon put forward further legislative proposals for a coordinated European approach to the human and ethical implications of AI. Against this background, this paper aims to shed some light on the ethical rules that are now recommended when designing, developing, deploying, implementing or using AI products and services in the EU. Moreover, it identifies some implementation challenges and presents possible further EU action ranging from soft law guidance to standardisation to legislation in the field of ethics and AI. There are calls for clarifying the EU guidelines, fostering the adoption of ethical standards and adopting legally binding instruments to, inter alia, set common rules on transparency and common requirements for fundamental rights impact assessments, and to provide an adequate legal framework for face recognition technology. Finally, the paper gives an overview of the main ethical frameworks for AI under development in countries such as the United States and China.

What if a simple DNA test could predict your future?

22-03-2019

What if new-born babies were given a DNA report card that predicted their intelligence, their odds of getting a PhD, their chances of becoming a chain smoker or suffering depression, a heart attack or cancer? Thanks to ongoing genetic studies, a large amount of genetic data is available today involving millions of people. The wealth of information available to researchers allows them to create a polygenic risk score based on the DNA test of a person. This can be used to predict a person's chances ...

What if new-born babies were given a DNA report card that predicted their intelligence, their odds of getting a PhD, their chances of becoming a chain smoker or suffering depression, a heart attack or cancer? Thanks to ongoing genetic studies, a large amount of genetic data is available today involving millions of people. The wealth of information available to researchers allows them to create a polygenic risk score based on the DNA test of a person. This can be used to predict a person's chances of getting a disease, his or her traits and behaviour, and many other things about their future. Are these predictions flawless? Who would benefit from them? What are their implications for a person's life in general?

Robots in healthcare: a solution or a problem?

15-03-2019

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of a workshop on the use of robots and AI in healthcare, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday 19 February 2019. The aim of the workshop was to provide background information and advice for Members of the ENVI Committee on the status and prospects of applying robotic and artificial intelligence (AI) based technologies in healthcare. The first part of the workshop focused on the practical application of AI and robots in healthcare ...

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of a workshop on the use of robots and AI in healthcare, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday 19 February 2019. The aim of the workshop was to provide background information and advice for Members of the ENVI Committee on the status and prospects of applying robotic and artificial intelligence (AI) based technologies in healthcare. The first part of the workshop focused on the practical application of AI and robots in healthcare, while the second part examined the ethical implications and responsibilities of AI and robotic based technologies in healthcare.

Autorzy zewnętrzni

Zrinjka DOLIC, Milieu Consulting Rosa CASTRO, Milieu Consulting Andrei MOARCAS, Milieu Consulting

What if algorithms could abide by ethical principles?

20-11-2018

Algorithms, are step-by-step procedure for solving a problem, usually expressed in computer code as a set of instructions for a computer to follow in order to complete a task. Day-to-day decisions around the world are increasingly based on data science techniques powered by machine learning algorithms that are gradually making a meaningful impact on human lives. For example, the operation of intermediary platforms that propose accommodation (AirBnB) or transportation alternatives (Uber) are extensively ...

Algorithms, are step-by-step procedure for solving a problem, usually expressed in computer code as a set of instructions for a computer to follow in order to complete a task. Day-to-day decisions around the world are increasingly based on data science techniques powered by machine learning algorithms that are gradually making a meaningful impact on human lives. For example, the operation of intermediary platforms that propose accommodation (AirBnB) or transportation alternatives (Uber) are extensively using algorithms. Algorithms implicitly or explicitly are not neutral as they comprise essential value-judgments that can potentially have race or sex biases. This raises an important question: is it possible to develop and ensure that algorithms are ethical?

Towards a binding international treaty on business and human rights

08-11-2018

With its extended value chains, economic globalisation has brought numerous opportunities while also creating specific challenges, including in the area of human rights protection. The recent history of transnational corporations contains numerous examples of human rights abuses occurring as a result of their operations. Such corporations are known to have taken advantage of loose regulatory frameworks in developing countries, corruption, and a lack of accountability resulting from legal rules shielding ...

With its extended value chains, economic globalisation has brought numerous opportunities while also creating specific challenges, including in the area of human rights protection. The recent history of transnational corporations contains numerous examples of human rights abuses occurring as a result of their operations. Such corporations are known to have taken advantage of loose regulatory frameworks in developing countries, corruption, and a lack of accountability resulting from legal rules shielding corporate interests. This situation has created a pressing need to establish international norms regulating business operations in relation to human rights. So far, the preferred approach has been 'soft', consisting of the adoption of voluntary guidelines for businesses. Several sets of such norms exist at international level, the most notable being the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Nevertheless, while such voluntary commitments are clearly useful, they cannot entirely stop gross human rights violations (such as child labour, labour rights violations and land grabbing) committed by transnational corporations, their subsidiaries or suppliers. To address the shortcomings of the soft approach, an intergovernmental working group was established within the United Nations framework in June 2014, with the task of drafting a binding treaty on human rights and business. After being reluctant at the outset, the EU has become involved in the negotiations, but has insisted that the future treaty's scope should include all businesses, not only transnational ones. The 'Zero Draft' published in July does not reflect the EU's position on this point. It has been welcomed by experts for its more precise focus on prevention, on effective remedies and access to justice for victims, and on companies' liability for their subsidiaries and suppliers in third countries. The European Parliament is a staunch supporter of this initiative and has encouraged the EU to take a positive and constructive approach. This is a further updated edition of a Briefing published in April 2018, PE 620.229.

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