The future of AI: the Parliament's roadmap for the EU

How can the EU improve its global position in artificial intelligence (AI)? On 3 May, MEPs adopted a set of proposals to develop AI in the long term.

Artificial-Intelligence_web_© Patrick T. FALLON / AFP
© Patrick T. FALLON / AFP

After 18 months of gathering insights on artificial intelligence, the final report from Parliament's special committee on artificial intelligence in the digital age proposes an EU Roadmap for AI, a holistic approach for a common, long-term position that highlights the EU’s key values, objectives and values about AI and continues the EU's current legislative efforts in this area.

The EU has fallen behind in AI development, research and investment and needs to step up its game as AI is key for the EU's digital transformation and will continue to have an ever-growing impact on the economy and day-to-day life, the report says.

Check out the threats and opportunities of AI

EU rules, safeguards and regulations should ensure that AI is going to deliver significant benefits to all areas of the EU, from the green transition and health to industry, public governance, agriculture and labour productivity.

The report warns that the EU needs to act fast to set clear standards based on EU values, otherwise the standards will be set elsewhere.

To be a global power means to be a leader in AI
Report on artificial intelligence in a digital age
Source "To be a global power means to be a leader in AI"

What does the report propose?

A favourable regulatory environment, including dynamic law-making and modern governance, as current EU and national legislation are fragmented, slow and do not provide legal certainty. To support innovation and avoid regulatory burden, only high-risk AI applications should be strictly regulated.

As AI technologies depend on the available data, sharing of data in the EU needs to be revised and extended. Full integration and harmonisation of the EU digital single market will help cross-border exchange and innovation.

Learn more about why the new EU data sharing law is important

MEPs said digital infrastructure should be strengthened, ensuring access to services for everyone. The deployment of broadband, fibre and 5G should be supported and key emerging technologies such as quantum computing should be a priority.

The EU should support the development of AI skills so that people have the skills needed for life and work. This will also help create trust in the technology, foster innovation and, by supporting excellence centres and EU experts, prevent a brain drain, according to the report.

The military and security aspects of AI also need to be tackled: the EU should cooperate internationally with like-minded partners to promote its human-centric, EU-value based vision, says the report.

Learn more about the report and the committee