The European Commission has called for human oversight and transparency in artificial intelligence-based systems in order to ensure the technology is “trustworthy”.
AI technology must also not discriminate, be fair and respect the data privacy of users if it is to be deemed trustworthy by authorities in the EU.
The Commission has published seven essential requirements, drawn up by a group of independent experts, which it says must be included in all versions of the software used in industry in Europe, as part of plans to create a set of ethical guidelines for AI.
The seven requirements are human agency and oversight; robustness and safety; privacy and data governance; transparency; diversity, non-discrimination and fairness; societal and environmental well-being; and accountability.
It forms part of the Commission’s AI strategy, first announced in April 2018, which aims to increase public and private investment in AI to at least 20 billion euro (£17.2 billion) over the next 10 years.
The Commission is now inviting industry, researchers and public authorities to test the list of requirements by signing up to the European AI Alliance, which will launch a large-scale pilot scheme this summer.
Vice President and Commissioner for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: “I welcome the work undertaken by our independent experts.
“The ethical dimension of AI is not a luxury feature or an add-on. It is only with trust that our society can fully benefit from technologies.
“Ethical AI is a win-win proposition that can become a competitive advantage for Europe: being a leader of human-centric AI that people can trust.”
Artificial intelligence is considered one of the most important technologies of the future, already in use powering virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, and is expected to be a key part of systems used to power driverless cars and robotics.
The Commission said it also plans to launch a network of AI research excellence centres before the end of the year, and begin discussions with wider nations in an attempt to build international consensus on an approach to the technology.
Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel said: “Today, we are taking an important step towards ethical and secure AI in the EU.
“We now have a solid foundation based on EU values and following an extensive and constructive engagement from many stakeholders including businesses, academia and civil society.
“We will now put these requirements to practice and at the same time foster an international discussion on human-centric AI.”