By Pekka Ala-Pietilä, Chair of the High-Level Expert Group on AI
Dear members of the European AI Alliance,
We are now approaching mid-November, and have only a month and a half to go before we reach the end of the year and our deadline to deliver a first draft of our first deliverable – the AI Ethics Guidelines. I would hereby like to take the opportunity to update you about the progress made by the High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (“AI HLEG”) in the meantime, and the next steps ahead.
After the AI HLEG workshop that took place on 20 September (slides, video-recording, report of outcomes) – to which you have kindly contributed with your input – the AI HLEG met two more times: on 8 and 9 October in Helsinki (in the margin of the AI Forum), and just last week, on 8 November in Brussels.
During this autumn, we agreed on the rough structure of the two deliverables and the main themes to be addressed in there. Subsequently, we established “subgroups” around those themes, and appointed two rapporteurs within the AI HLEG to start drafting the corresponding sections based on the input from the rest of the group. This happens under the coordination of the two Vice-Chairs of the AI HLEG, Nozha Boujemaa (for Deliverable 1 – the Guidelines) and Barry O’Sullivan (for Deliverable 2 – the Recommendations).
Note that these subgroups are very informal, as each member of the AI HLEG can be part of any subgroup and contribute to any section at any time. More importantly, this structure may still change (as we may decide to merge, split, add or delete certain sections) and should thus only be seen as an intermediary step in the work process.
For the draft AI ethics guidelines, the main themes are the following:
- Core Values and Principles (Intent) – for which the rapporteurs are Aimee Van Wynsberghe and Nicolas Petit. As the name suggests, this section is looking into the core values and principles that are key when dealing with AI, and that need to be part of the intent of whomever develops or uses AI.
- Implementation of Trusted AI – for which the rapporteurs are Virginia Dignum and Jean-François Gagné. This section looks into how the values and principles that we hold dear, and that can ensure our trust in AI, can actually be implemented into the technology.
- Checklist based on Use Cases – for which the rapporteurs are Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl and Saskia Steinacker. This section will analyse a number of use cases and provide a checklist / set of guidelines to exemplify how the right intent and the correct implementation of that intent can be fostered.
- Red Lines – for which the rapporteurs are Thomas Metzinger and Urs Bergman. This section will look into whether there are any red lines in the development or use of AI that we may wish to draw as a society.
For the AI policy and investment Recommendations, the main themes are divided into impacts that we wish to achieve with AI, and the enablers needed to achieve those impacts.
- In terms of impacts to be achieved, we look into:
- Business Impact – for which the rapporteurs are Ieva Martinkenaite and Loubna Bouarfa
- Public Sector Impact – for which the rapporteurs are Françoise Soulié Fogelman and Leo Kärkkäinen
- World Class Research – for which the rapporteurs are Fredrik Heintz and Sami Haddadin
- Citizen benefits & engagement – for which the rapporteurs are Catelijne Muller and Virginia Dignum
- In terms of enablers that will need to be leveraged, we look into:
- Funding and Investment – for which the rapporteurs are Maria Bielikova and Markus Noga
- Data and Infrastructure – for which the rapporteurs are Philipp Slusallek and Françoise Soulié Fogelman
- Skills and Education – for which the rapporteurs are Sabine Theresia Köszegi and Thiébaut Weber
- Policy and Regulation – for which the rapporteurs are Ursula Pachl and Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl
In our November meeting, the AI HLEG heard some presentations from the Commission on ongoing/planned AI initiatives at EU level, and the subgroups worked further on their different sections. While there is still some work ahead, the draft deliverables are slowly starting to take shape.
We can already announce that the first draft of the AI ethics guidelines will be published for consultation here, on the platform of the European AI Alliance, and we will seek your comments and feedback thereon during a period of one month, from 18 December 2018 and 18 January 2019.
However, already in the next days, the rapporteurs of the mentioned sections will start reaching out to you (and some of them already did) in order to seek your input on these topics. I strongly encourage you to share your expertise with them, as we would like to draw on as many useful contributions as possible.
We will continue working at a high pace and have planned to meet again in Brussels on 13-14 December. It is during that meeting that we will finalise the first draft of the AI ethics guidelines before publication on the platform of the Alliance.
We look forward to your contributions in the meantime.
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