Lawmakers demand a common EU regulatory framework for human-centric AI

They say businesses and start-ups should be given room for innovation

Photo: EP Deirdre Clune.

Rules for Artificial Intelligence (AI) must be human centric, risk-based and balanced, requested in their new report MEPs from the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee.

The report on the functioning of the digital single market and improving the use of AI for European consumers was adopted by a vast majority on Wednesday afternoon.

Asking for a common EU regulatory framework for human-centric AI, MEPs called on the European Commission to make sure that the forthcoming legislative proposals address the current fragmentation of the digital single market, remove all existing unjustified barriers and support innovation by reducing red tape.

Lawmakers also demanded the EU executive to look at the challenges posed by the digital transition, from digital skills to connectivity, and focus on AI as technology that can enable and support the European public and private sectors to implement the upcoming changes.

The Committee members underlined that digital innovation has to be strongly supported and EU lawmakers must guarantee that the accompanying common legislation endorses trustworthy, fair, accessible and human-centric technology, with an adequate degree of human control over algorithmic decision-making.

European SMEs need the right amount of support to benefit from new technologies, be it through testing facilities, better access to data, easier regulatory requirements or funding, MEPs urged.

Artificial Intelligence can be positive and transformative and it could help us to face many societal challenges - from treating diseases to minimising the environmental impact on farming, rapporteur Deirdre Clune (EPP, IE) commented after the vote.

She highlighted that for AI to be successful in Europe, it needs to be trusted. We need to create the right environment for investment and innovation and to give businesses and start-ups room for innovation and support investment to realise the full potential of AI for consumers in the EU, the rapporteur stated.

Deirdre Clune also emphasised that Europe’s digital future and improving the use of AI will have a transformative effect across many sectors of society in the EU.

In the long-term, new technologies could help the transition to a circular and sustainable economy, by finding more circular business models, promoting energy efficiency of data processing and storage systems and optimising the use of resources, and have the potential to help meet the needs of urban, rural and isolated regions in the EU.

According to the lawmakers, AI solutions could diminish existing barriers and reduce the fragmentation of the internal market, support European digital economy and its competitiveness, contributing also to safety, security, education, healthcare, transport and the environment.

They accented as well that a clear legal framework for AI is a prerequisite for more trust in the technology, to avoid discrimination and make sure the fundamental rights of Europeans are well protected.

 

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