contribute towards an EU regulatory framework on the human and ethical aspects of artificial intelligence, the proposal for which might be prepared and published before the end of this year;
seek to increase the role of public authorities in ensuring respect for the EU's values and for the rules which will be set in accordance with these values;
profile the local and regional authorities as an important partner for the future governance of the artificial intelligence sector in the EU and increase the CoR's standing in this context;
call for a regulatory framework for ethical standards in the area of artificial intelligence which would be conducive for EU leadership on the global scale and compatible with European technological sovereignty: with these advantages, EU could use artificial intelligence to facilitate economic, social and territorial cohesion, e.g., via (inter-)regional smart specialisation strategies;
insist on close relations between the EU artificial intelligence policy and the EU data strategy, and in this context, reiterate, update, refine and publicise again the CoR's previous political messages on big data use and management;
seek reference to local and regional authorities in the future regulatory framework on artificial intelligence: they should be recognised as an awareness raiser, a mobiliser of stakeholders for implementation, a guardian of citizen's rights, and as an adviser to the national authorities;
support strongly the budget of the Digital Europe programme, as far as possible in accordance with the European Commision's proposal; this programme should help develop local and regional innovation ecosystems, foster development of small and medium size enterprises and contribute towards local solutions for major societal challenges, which is conducive for artificial intelligence.
The European parliament's resolution on setting up the ad hoc committee on artificial intelligence stresses the ideas expressed in the CoR opinion slightly differently, that it was still necessary to analyse the future impact of artificial intelligence in the digital age on the EU economy, in particular on skills, employment, fintech, education, health, transport, tourism, agriculture, environment, defence, industry, energy and e-government; moreover, it was necessary to further investigate the challenge of deploying artificial intelligence and its contribution to business value and economic growth. This understanding has been shared in the rappprteur' s bilateral discussions with selected members of the EP ad hoc committee. Moreover, the EP report on ethical aspects of artificial intelligence goes in the same direction as the CoR opinion regarding a call for an effective and harmonised regulatory framework based on Union law. The EP report has noted that innovation programmes in the area of Artificial Intelligence 'can enable regional clusters to thrive'. In line with the CoR's concern with regional disparities across the EU, the EU report has found that 'the persistent divergences in the level of development between Member States creates the risk of depriving the least developed regions and their inhabitants of the benefits brought by the development of autonomous mobility'. The messages of the EP report moreover, concur with a number of the CoR messages in the areas of education, culture, employment, skills, workers’ rights and the workplace.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- points out that artificial intelligence is already part of our lives and will play an increasingly important role in transforming our societies. It offers great potential for European society, businesses and the public. Innovation in the field of artificial intelligence does not just make a contribution to the economy; it also helps to solve societal and environmental challenges;
- underlines that local and regional authorities are best placed to help create an environment propitious to boosting investment in artificial intelligence in the coming years and fostering trust in artificial intelligence;
- notes that, according to the Commission, the key elements of the ecosystem of trust are the protection of fundamental rights and consumers' rights and rules on liability and product safety;
- emphasis that a pivotal element of any future regulatory framework applying to artificial intelligence is the introduction of safeguards to ensure that artificial intelligence is free from bias and does not reproduce discrimination on grounds of gender, ethnicity age, disability or sexual orientation;
- underlines that this regulatory framework should ensure enough of the above-mentioned key elements, while allowing room and flexibility for innovation;
believes that the future European policy framework should coordinate efforts at European, national and regional level, promote knowledge sharing and ensure cooperation between the private and public sectors. This calls for multi-level governance, linking up local, regional, national and European networks.