Labour MEPs: EU strategy on robots and AI will bring huge benefits to manufacturing, health, energy and transport

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Labour MEPs this week voted for a report calling for a new EU strategy on robotics and artificial intelligence that has the potential to bring huge benefits to Europe's industries, economies and citizens, including in the key areas of manufacturing, health, energy and transport.

To ensure the benefits are fully felt, the report calls on national governments to develop new training programmes that focus on developing the digital skills of workers, especially in those sectors impacted most by automation, to enable them to seize the opportunities offered by the new jobs created by artificial intelligence.

In particular, Labour MEPs and our Socialists and Democrats Group colleagues have called for greater emphasis on the need to focus on education, training and digital skills to address the negative effects the advance of AI will have on the labour market, and for greater respect for European values, human rights, human dignity, data protection and privacy.

Labour MEPs believe there is an urgent need to address the impact AI and robotics might have in labour markets and on the replacement of some workers - we must focus on the retraining of workers, education, reskilling and to enable workers to transition to future jobs in future industries and avoid unemployment.

The report also addresses the issue of liability, in particular in the transport sector and with regard to automated vehicles; the importance of investment to develop AI in Europe through flexible regulatory frameworks that encourage innovation; and the need to promote only ethically-embedded AI in the EU, ensuring transparency and accountability as regards algorithms and ensuring consent from citizens when personal data is used.

The malicious use of AI is also examined, for example its use for surveillance and social control programmes in countries like China and Russia, including the dangers of AI being used to influence the democratic process, as has happened with third country interference in the likes of the 2016 US Presidential election and UK Brexit referendum.

Friday, February 15, 2019

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