THE EUROPEAN UNION wants artificial intelligence (AI) systems to be easily explained, unbiased and accountable for their actions.
The EU published its "Ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI", which in a nutshell wants AI systems to "respect all applicable laws and regulations" as well as adhere to a set of requirements cooked up by some 52 boffins.
Like all the chatter around AI, the EU wants to see clever computers adopt a fair and impartial approach to the tasks they are set and work to support human rights rather than infringe them; we didn't see anything saying robots can't turn humans into pets.
"AI systems should be used to enhance positive social change and enhance sustainability and ecological responsibility," the guidelines said, hopping on the goody-two-shoes bandwagon.
It also wants the data collected by AIs to be kept secure, private and to not be used to discriminate, adding that AI systems should embrace diversity and "consider the whole range of human abilities, skills and requirements, and ensure accessibility".
AI systems are also expected by the EU's draft guidelines to be trustworthy enough to deal with errors and have secure and robust algorithms that can be traced back and are transparent. And there should be mechanisms in place to make sure someone is responsible and accountable for the activities of robots and clever code.
These guidelines are not laws or regulations, though they could be slipped into future EU legislation.
But for the time being the EU will launch the guidelines in a pilot stage this summer and come early 2020 it'll assess what the key requirements are for ensuring AI is kept good and proper.
Goodness knows how the regulations will affect Britain and its Brexiting, or whatever the heck is going on at the moment. If Britain decides against AI ethics then perhaps Blighty could end up with a robot army ready to take back control.
Or it could get consumed be stiff upper-lipped droids running off tea, fish and chips, and rain. µ
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