21 Sep 2017

DIGITALEUROPE's views on the Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Robotics

DIGITALEUROPE's views on the Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Robotics

INTRODUCTION

DIGITALEUROPE has witnessed the increase in policymakers’ interest in topics related to artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and robotics.

We think this interest is timely and justified, as these technologies are already being applied in many sectors of our economies and societies. Healthcare, agriculture, transportation, supply chain, cybersecurity, education and many other sectors are embracing them, with consequential benefits to society – through new services and transformational innovation.

Clearly, the potential of AI/ML and robotics is huge. Nevertheless, we also think it is appropriate to acknowledge the challenges these applications pose with regard to civil rights, privacy, security and jobs. AI/ML and robotics are not new. Although we are at a very early stage of this exciting journey, these data-driven systems and products are already a reality.

Automation has been a factor of transformation throughout history, regarded by many as a driver of societal and economic progress. The same is true for software. Many AI/ML and robotics-based applications are used by a significant proportion of society, and are accepted as part of daily life. Still,there is a trend to look at these technologies with diffidence, not just in Europe but worldwide. AI/ML and robotics are discussed in a very emotional context.

DIGITALEUROPE’s objective is to contribute to the discussion in Europe by raising awareness of what such systems can do and where their limitations are. We envisage products and services that will help people lead better and smarter lives, increase consumer choice and ultimately help address the world’s bigger and more complex challenges.

We believe this can only be achieved through a collaborative process that relies upon open research, the exchange of best practices and stakeholder dialogue. We believe the discussion in Europe should move towards a more factual, rational and evidence-based approach. Best-practices and concrete examples of how AI/ML and robotics can benefit society and drive innovation are the best tools to help policymakers understand these tools and identify better ways forward.

DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the opportunity to contribute to this goal by sharing our members’ direct experience. In this paper, we will highlight the potential of AI/ML and robotics, while shedding light on the industry’s approach to some of the challenges.

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