On 18 December 2018, the EU High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (the “AI HLEG”) published new draft guidance on “AI Ethics” (the “guidance”). The AI HLEG is a European Commission-backed working group made up of representatives from industry, academia and NGOs, and was formed as part of the Commission’s ongoing work to develop EU policy responses to the development, challenges and new opportunities posed by AI technologies. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft through the European AI Alliance before it is finalized in March 2019.
The guidance recognizes the potential benefits of AI technologies for Europe, but also stresses that AI must be developed and implemented with a “human-centric approach” that results in “Trustworthy AI”. The guidance then explains in detail the concept of “Trustworthy AI” and the issues stakeholders should navigate in order to achieve it. A more detailed summary of the guidance is set out below.
This guidance is not binding, but it is likely to influence EU policymakers as they consider whether and how to legislate in the AI space going forwards. AI HLEG also envisages that the final version of the guidance in March 2019 will include a mechanism to allow stakeholders to voluntarily endorse its principles. The guidance also states that the AI HLEG will consider making legislative recommendations in its separate deliverable on “Policy & Investment Recommendations,” due May 2019.