The EU High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence publishes two new reports and completes its mandate

24 July 2020

The High-Level Expert Group on Artifi...

The High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (HLEG on AI) has finalised its work by publishing "Sectorial Considerations on the Policy and Investment Recommendations for Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence" following the issuing on 17 July of the "Assessment List for Trustworthy AI". The HLEG on AI was set up in June 2018 by the European Commission to support the implementation of the European Strategy on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Christoph Luykx, Orgalim’s Policy Director welcomed the publication of both documents: "As a member of the HLEG on AI, Orgalim is delighted to have directly contributed to its work and brought attention to industrial AI and the immense potential of this technology for European industry and society. The first two deliverables produced by the HLEG on AI in 2019 provided a clear direction for the European Union to focus its policy and industrial activities on the new concept of 'Trustworthy AI'. This concept can help Europe to differentiate itself from its competitors. The present deliverables will help both companies (with the assessment list and the tool for self- assessment) and policy-makers (with the specific considerations by three sectors of the European economy on the Policy and Investment Recommendations) shape a modern and forward-looking framework for the development of AI."

The Assessment List for Trustworthy AI or 'AITAI' is a web-based management tool at the (voluntary) disposal of companies to self-assess their compliance with the concept of 'trustworthy AI' as described in the Ethics Guidelines published in 2019. The set of questions are proposed for each of the seven requirements of the Ethics Guidelines, with a video explaining the meaning of each requirement and a system of logic jumps between the questions, with a radar chart summarising the results proposed at the end of the questionnaire.

The Sectoral Considerations on the Policy and Investment Recommendations for Trustworthy AI are the outcome of a series of workshops organised with representatives and stakeholders of three sectors considered as essential for the development and the deployment of AI: health, the public, and manufacturing/IoT. Workshop participants systematically reviewed the Recommendations published in 2019 and underlined that a) there is widespread concern about the need to close the skills gap, b) Europe should be a leader in responsible research and innovation in the field of AI, and c) good governance and the widespread sharing of best practices can promote regulatory certainty, and data quality, availability and interoperability must be at the core of EU policy. For manufacturing/IoT in particular, the following was underlined:

  • Skills: it is very difficult to find AI talents (including AI developers, AI/data business understanding, interdisciplinary studies and AI/data engineering) and there is a massive need for employee re-skilling and up-skilling programmes.

  • Data & Infrastructure: there is no legal certainty and practical problems with data sharing and data access (e.g. curated and useable data sets, GDPR scope data processing and access) and delays in infrastructures availability (5G, connectivity, cloud and data servers, edge-computing.

  • SMEs: the GDPR remains unclear in its implementation, it is impossible to find and pay talents, and there is a lack of data sets and resources to adopting new technology (investment and legal); moreover, it is hard to grow in a still fragmented Digital Single Market.

  • Regulation: there is a need for experimentation via regulatory sandboxes and for a fully functioning Single Market (Member States and the EU institutions should further cooperate to reduce discrepancies in implementation and enforcement of EU legislation.

For Malte Lohan, Director General of Orgalim, "the European Commission now has at its disposal the four deliverables of the HLEG on AI as well as the outcome of its public consultation on the AI White Paper to elaborate its future policy on AI. For Orgalim the objective should be to fully facilitate the development and deployment of AI in all sectors of industry, which we truly believe is a powerful tool to ensure its greening and its digitalisation, as well as a major element of its global competitiveness. We look forward to continuing our fruitful cooperation with the Commission and all stakeholders and call for the creation of a new Expert Group based on the model of the HLEG on AI."

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