Artificial Intelligence: Commission discusses ethical and social impact with philosophical and non-confessional organisations

Today, the European Commission hosted a high-level meeting with 12 representatives from philosophical and non-confessional organisations from across Europe, aspart of the regular dialogue with churches, religions, philosophical and non-confessional organisations foreseen by Article 17 of the Lisbon Treaty.

This ninth annual high-level meeting discussed the topic “Artificial Intelligence: addressing ethical and social challenges”. Today’s meeting was chaired by Vice-President Andrus Ansip. First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, responsible for the Article 17 Dialogue said: “Our societies are in the midst of an unprecedented digital revolution which will impact every person living on the planet. This revolution brings new promises, and new risks of disruption. We have seen recently that the digital world moved faster than the ethical discussion about what could and should be allowed online. We cannot risk the same thing happening with Artificial Intelligence and automatization. We need to be in control of this transformation, and make sure that it is used to foster our values and defend our social model”. Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: “From better healthcare to safer transport, the benefits of artificial intelligence are many and Europe should grab them. Along with increased investments, we are developing ethical guidelines for the development of AI for good and for all. This requires an open discussion on key issues such as the importance of diversity and gender balance in AI to avoid biased decisions. Today’s meeting and the recent set up of the European AI Alliance contribute to this broad debate.” A full press release is available here. Several other events on AI are also happening in parallel in Brussels. Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel delivered this morning a speech on the European approach to AI at the stakeholder summit “A European Strategy for Artificial Intelligence”. This afternoon she will participate in a conference on AI bringing together Member States’ representatives involved in the Digitising European Industry initiative. She will close the conference with a keynote speech at 16:30 Brussels time.