EU AI guidelines will help unlock potential of AI technology

The European Union has released one of the world’s first government-led set of guidelines on developing and implementing artificial intelligence ethics — the AI ethical guidelines pilot.

These guidelines will be a roadmap for organisations excited about the opportunity of AI, but grappling with questions of trust. And that’s no small number. A recent study found that half of senior business leaders surveyed had some concern about being able to explain to their customers how AI uses data.

The EU guidelines answer critical AI ethics questions head-on. And, they provide a strong template for other countries and regions across the world to follow in building their own responsible AI strategies.

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Unlocking the power of AI

Georgie Kon, partner in the technology practice at Linklaters, believes a legal and ethical framework will unlock the significant potential of AI technology.

“Spending on cognitive and AI systems will continue to rise as businesses increasingly look at ways to use artificial intelligence to extract value from their data or automate their processes using sophisticated decision making tools. This growth raises many new legal and ethical challenges which can put this investment at risk and lead to serious legal and reputation problems.

“There are a range of areas that businesses should consider to ensure the successful deployment of this technology. These include how best to collaborate with third parties, what ownership rights businesses should assert, the regulatory framework including fair use of personal data and the risk of breaking competition law.

“Addressing these areas and getting the legal structure right – via an approach that is ethical, safe and lawful – at the start of any project will not only protect the billions some companies are investing in this area but also unlock the very significant potential of this technology.”

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Shaping the guidelines: trust

IBM is one of the few companies that played an integral role in shaping the guidelines. IBM’s global AI Ethics Leader, Francesca Rossi, led that engagement.

Martin Jetter, senior vice president and chairman IBM Europe, said: “The EU’s new Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI set a global standard for efforts to advance AI that is ethical and responsible, and IBM is pleased to endorse them. They reflect many principles that IBM has been practicing for a long time. We were proud to participate in the work of the Expert Group that developed the guidelines, and we believe the thoughtful approach to creating them provides a strong example that other countries and regions should follow. We look forward to contributing actively to their implementation.”

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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