AIDA Adopts Report on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age
On 22 March 2022, the Parliament’s Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age (AIDA) adopted a report on artificial intelligence (AI) which emphasised that the digital transition in the EU must be human-centric and compatible with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. The report includes a motion for a EP resolution on AI in the digital age, which will be put to a vote by the plenary in May. The report is the main output of the AIDA Committee's work, which it took up in September 2020. AIDA was tasked with exploring the impact of AI on the EU economy and its different sectors, with analysing the AI approach of third countries, and with charting the road ahead.
In the report, the MEPs caution that the EU has fallen behind in the global race for tech leadership. This might result in a risk for standards that need to be developed elsewhere in the future, often by non-democratic actors.
In order to focus on the enormous potential that AI offers to human beings, AIDA identified policy options that could unlock AI’s potential in the areas of health, the environment, and climate change. They also see the potential for AI - combined with the necessary support infrastructure, education, and training - to increase capital and labour productivity, innovation, sustainable growth, and enhance job creation.
The report stressed that the use of AI poses crucial ethical and legal questions, especially with regard to military research and technological developments of AI, which can be transformed into lethal, autonomous weapon systems. Another point of concern is the possible use of AI for mass surveillance and other unlawful interference, such as the profiling of citizens in order to rank them and restrict their freedom of movement, which in turn poses a threat to fundamental rights - in particular the rights to privacy and data protection.