Roberto Viola Discusses the European Approach to AI and Ethics

Oxford University's Centre for Technology and Global Affairs hosted Roberto Viola to speak on how the European Commission is securing a stable integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into its policies on January 29 2019. Roberto is Director General of DG CONNECT (Directorate General of Communication, Networks, Content and Technology) at the European Commission. 

He covered an extensive list of aspects of society in which AI is being used, including security, information, and healthcare. While AI comes with endless benefits, it also requires appropriate management to avoid certain risks. On this premise, Roberto stressed that the European Commission is taking a human-centric approach in developing its AI Ethics guidelines which will be published in April 2019. Not only are the guidelines being constructed by a team of diverse experts from different areas of the field, they will also take not of over 500 submissions for feedback, comments, and suggestions received from online stakeholders. The guidelines without a doubt will be an important milestone for not only the European Commission but for AI development in general.

Several thought-provoking questions arise from Roberto’s presentation. What will be the impact of the AI Ethics guidelines? How much binding power will the guidelines possess? What will be the next step after the publication of the guidelines? How will the European Commission deal with extra-European AI development? The audience was encouraged to continue thinking about these complex issues that are entangled with the development of AI in Europe.