The EU Delegations to the UN in Geneva and to Switzerland & Liechtenstein in Bern organized an an online briefing on AI with experts from the European Commission. The webinar - attended by more than 80 participants from diplomatic missions, academia and the private sector - discussed the next steps of the EC White Paper on AI and how the work in the EU fits in the international context.
In February 2020, the European Commission presented a White Paper on AI which aims to develop a European ecosystem of excellence and trust in AI. The White Paper proposes measures that will streamline research, foster collaboration between Member States, and increase investment into AI development & deployment. It also suggests policy options for a possible future EU regulatory framework on AI. A public consultation on AI is open until 14th June. Further details can be found here.
In Geneva, the EU and Member States engage actively in discussions on AI, be it in the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), who organises an annual AI for Good Summit, World Intellectual Property organisation (WIPO), who launched a conversation on AI & IP or at the Human Rights Council, who regularly addressed human-rights aspects of new technologies, including AI.
"We need multilateral discussions on Artificial Intelligence to ensure that it severs all humanity," reminded EU Ambassador Walter Stevens, opening the webinar together with Natalie Sleeman, Head of Sector, Economic and Trade Affairs from the EU Delegation to Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein who stressed that Switzerland, as one of the most innovative countries in the world, with a strong start-up ecosystem and state-of-the-art research on AI, is an interesting partner for the EU.
Experts from the European Commission presented the EC White Paper and the logic of a possible European regulation on AI, in particular the focus on high-risk scenarios such as deployment of AI in security and law enforcement. They explained the importance of high-quality data to develop AI and the risk of fragmentation of the internal market, if no action by the EU was taken. In order to tackle these, Commissioner Breton has come up with a data governance approach that includes the free flow of data across borders as well as encouraging the public and private institutions to share data.