This is the feedback of EuroCommerce, the voice of over 5 million retail, wholesale and other trading companies. Our members, which include 32 national federations from all the EU Member States and those that are located outside the EU, 36 leading European retail and wholesale companies, and federations representing specific retail and wholesale sectors serve as a link between producers and consumers billions of times every day.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has come to the forefront of discussion among businesses, decision-makers and the larger society. Many retailers and wholesalers use and develop Artificial Intelligence applications in their operations. In most cases, AI applications used by retailers and wholesalers carry no direct impact on risks for individuals.
AI can offer significant benefits not just to businesses, but also to consumers. EuroCommerce welcomes the ambition to make the European Union a leader in human-centric Artificial Intelligence. To secure a future-proof framework that will support an innovative and competitive retail and wholesale sector, EuroCommerce believes that:
- AI related policy initiatives should be designed to be future proof and proportionate while at the same time not hindering innovation and technological development. In particular, the Trustworthy AI Guidelines should be understandable for everyone they affect, from developers to researchers and end-users. To ensure European business can become leading in developing AI technology, it cannot be ignored that countries like China and the US have a big head start. European businesses can only take up the pace if the EU develops a business-friendly environment enabling our businesses to do what they do best.
- Before promulgating new regulation, the European Union should assess whether existing rules and regulations are still fit for purpose in light of technological development, and whether such rules are properly implemented and enforced. Additionally, all future AI policy initiatives need to be based on a robust impact assessment which would help identify existing gaps and ensure a targeted approach to regulation.
- Policy makers should take full account of the specificities of each AI application and how such applications will be used. Guidance and regulations on AI should reflect use to secure proportional obligations
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