Can the EU become a global leader for AI governance?

Mar 1, 2020AI-Government, News

With WHITE PAPER “On Artificial Intelligence – A European approach to excellence and trust”, the EU have an ambition to become a global leader for AI governance. This is needed in the context of the world today. However, the EU lack civil societies to join and support this program. To solve this gap between EU’s ambition and capacity, Boston Global Forum and World Leadership Alliance Club de Madrid co-organize the conference “Transatlantic Approaches on Digital Governance: A New Social Contract in Artificial Intelligence” at Harvard University and MIT from April 27 to 29, 2020.

We are pleasured to introduce the report “Towards a European AI & Society Ecosystem” by Stiftung Neue Verantwortung (SNV).

Governing AI is crucial to ensure that its development and deployment are aligned with our (European) values and societal interests. While many look to Silicon Valley or increasingly to China to catch the latest trends and technological advances, all eyes are on the European Union concerning the question of where global leadership on AI governance will appear.

The United States is widely seen as the global leader in AI – both in terms of academic output and commercial applications. There are also strong NGOs and interdisciplinary research programs that study potential harms and social risks associated with the technology. However, given the political tides in Washington D.C. and the policy priorities of the Trump administration, the United States is currently unable and unwilling to shape global norms and regulate AI. China aspires to global leadership in AI but its use of AI for social control, surveillance and censorship clash with democratic principles. Simply copying and pasting one of these models into the European context would be incompatible with European culture, values, laws and social contexts. This makes Europe currently the only region where a regulatory agenda on AI rooted in democratic values can be established and – given the size of the EU’s internal market – and have a reasonable potential for global impact. Europe has generally embraced the role as a global regulator of technology. For many EU policy makers, the GDPR serves as a model, demonstrating the EU’s ability to set global standards in the tech sector.