Ethics

EU AI Expert Group: Ethical risks are ‘unimaginable’

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The EU Commission’s AI expert group has published its assessment of the rapidly-advancing technology and warned it has “unimaginable” ethical risks.

Some of the highlighted risks includes lethal autonomous systems, tracking individuals, and ‘scoring’ people in society.

On the subject of lethal autonomous systems, the experts warn machines with cognitive skills could “decide whom, when and where to fight without human intervention”.

When it comes to tracking individuals, the experts foresee biometric data of people being involuntarily used such as “lie detection [or] personality assessment through micro expressions”.

Citizen scoring is on some people’s minds after being featured in an episode of dystopian series Black Mirror. The experts note that scoring criteria must be transparent and fair, with scores being challengeable

The guidelines have been several years in the making and have launched alongside a pilot project for testing how they work in practice.

Experts from various fields across Europe sit in the group, including academic lawyers from Birmingham and Oxford universities.

They concluded: “it is important to build AI systems that are worthy of trust, since human beings will only be able to confidently and fully reap its benefits when the technology, including the processes and people behind the technology, are trustworthy.”

The EU as a whole is looking to invest €20bn (£17bn) every year for the next decade to close the current gap between European developments and those in Asia and North America.

Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and their use cases? Attend the co-located AI & Big Data Expo events with upcoming shows in Silicon Valley, London, and Amsterdam to learn more. Co-located with the IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo.

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