With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for people interested in artificial intelligence.
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Unless you are a robot yourself, you are probably either fascinated or appalled by the prospects of artificial intelligence (AI). No longer limited to science-fiction, artificial intelligence is already a fact in our daily life, through speech recognition, driverless cars, medical diagnosis, etc. AI takes away some tasks from us. This might be for the better, when machines perform routine work and helps us concentrate on more interesting tasks, or appreciate extra leisure time. However, this might also be for the worse, as automation may lead to replacing humans at work. Changes to the way we manage our time, and perhaps earn less money, have to be considered carefully. Moreover, trusting ‘things’ with the power to decide on our behalf – on the road or at the hospital – implies a thorough revision of our ethical and legal frameworks.
A wide range of activities have to be ready for the shift to AI. We need a collective strategy to tackle changes in the education system, job market, health services, and road safety rules. The EU approach addresses all three dimensions of the artificial intelligence revolution. The EU and Member States are committed to: boost public and private investment to harness research and development; support the adaptation of education and training systems; and reflect on future ethics and legal guidelines. The 2018 General Data Protection Regulation has already cleared the way for a more transparent use of our data by automated systems and their developers. Let’s continue to be smarter than artificial intelligence!
- European Commission, website on artificial intelligence, https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/artificial-intelligence
- European Commission, factsheet ‘Artificial intelligence for Europe’, https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/factsheet-artificial-intelligence-europe
- EPRS blog, STOA workshop ‘Should we fear the future? Is it rational to be optimistic about artificial intelligence?’, 2017, https://epthinktank.eu/2017/10/30/is-it-rational-to-be-optimistic-about-artificial-intelligence/