EU Justice Commissioner talks to DIGITAL SME on Artificial Intelligence

Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, responded yesterday to questions raised by the European DIGITAL SME Alliance during the Security Summit organized by Clusit, Italian member of the European DIGITAL SME Alliance. In the light of the recent Commission’s Communication on ‘Artificial Intelligence for Europe’, Ms. Jourová was interviewed about the consequences of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on consumers protection, citizens rights and democracy, in particular:

  • Responsibility: Who should be responsible for the decisions / actions based on Artificial Intelligence?

  • Accountability: How can we make sure that an AI doesn’t become a black box, and that it is always possible to monitor and analizare the process that led it to a decision? How can one prevent deep learning machines from becoming indisputable “oracles”?

  • Neutrality: How can one enforce AI neutrality, that is, the decisions taken by the machines not to embed any kind of prejudices against race, gender, age, sexuality, political views, etc.?

  • Security: How can one avoid AI getting “poisoned” by maliciously altering its inputs in order to force it to make mistakes, and how can one mitigate the risk that an AI is hacked by a hostile third party ? What kind of security standards and measures should be adopted and enforced?

  • Risk transfer: Taking into account all the above, how can one define a risk transfer process when an AI is involved? What kind of damages should be covered, to whom, and who should be insured?

Ms. Jourová has stressed the need to find the right balance between a technological innovation and a value-based approach that ensures trust among people and among companies. She has promised that the European Commission will take the lead in fostering further discussions among the key stakeholders, including innovative SMEs, in order to create a corresponding regulatory environment, and find the right solutions to the questions raised.

In addition, the Commissioner has announced that the European Commission will facilitate the creation of a multi-stakeholder platform, the European AI Alliance, which will work on all aspects of AI. Officially launched in the upcoming weeks, the platform will be accessible for digital SMEs as well. Moreover, the stakeholder platform will be steered by the High Level Expert group on Artificial Intelligence (AI HLG). Mr. George Sharkov, an expert of the DIGITAL SME, has been chosen as one of the key experts in the AI HLG.