CCIA Welcomes EU’s Positive Approach to Artificial Intelligence

BY Heather Greenfield
April 25, 2018

Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Commission published today a Communication on “Maximising the Benefits of Artificial Intelligence for Europe”, aimed at boosting Europe’s technology and industrial capacity, preparing for socio-economic changes and ensuring an appropriate ethical and legal framework.

Among many different initiatives, the Commission intends to reinforce the support for research and innovation in AI technologies, to mobilise additional investments in AI and to set up dedicated (re-)training schemes for professional profiles at risk of being automated.

The Commission will also launch a multi-stakeholder European AI Alliance and plans to develop AI ethics guidelines, based on fundamental rights, by the end of the year.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association welcomes the Commission’s objectives to boost the uptake of A.I. in Europe. CCIA fully supports as well the Commission’s constructive approach in involving all relevant stakeholders. Europe has strong assets to build on in AI, with tremendous potential for European companies, startups and academic institutions.

However, it is important to remember that AI is a general-purpose technology. Its development may therefore be impacted by other legislative proposals, such as the proposed European copyright reform. By pushing for a restrictive Text and Data Mining exception, the Commission’s copyright proposal removes the ability for startups, businesses or public-private collaborators to use in Europe a technology playing a foundational role in AI. CCIA, along with 22 other organisations, called on all European institutions to adopt a broader TDM exception in the copyright directive, so as to allow for a high-quality, thriving AI industry in Europe.

CCIA is an international non-profit organization that represents technology companies from telecommunications to Internet services and has advocated for decades in favour of innovation and competition that brings advantages to consumers and society.

The following statement can be attributed to Maud Sacquet, Senior Policy Manager:

“We welcome the Commission’s constructive approach to boost the uptake of AI in Europe. While we support this positive approach, we caution that the current copyright proposal risks hindering Europe’s leadership ambition. Since this is a new technology, a cautious approach to regulation will allow AI to have the space to grow.”

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