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EU guidelines on ethics in artificial intelligence: Context and implementation

19-09-2019

The discussion around artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and their impact on society is increasingly focused on the question of whether AI should be regulated. Following the call from the European Parliament to update and complement the existing Union legal framework with guiding ethical principles, the EU has carved out a 'human-centric' approach to AI that is respectful of European values and principles. As part of this approach, the EU published its guidelines on ethics in AI in April 2019 ...

The discussion around artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and their impact on society is increasingly focused on the question of whether AI should be regulated. Following the call from the European Parliament to update and complement the existing Union legal framework with guiding ethical principles, the EU has carved out a 'human-centric' approach to AI that is respectful of European values and principles. As part of this approach, the EU published its guidelines on ethics in AI in April 2019, and European Commission President-elect, Ursula von der Leyen, has announced that the Commission will soon put forward further legislative proposals for a coordinated European approach to the human and ethical implications of AI. Against this background, this paper aims to shed some light on the ethical rules that are now recommended when designing, developing, deploying, implementing or using AI products and services in the EU. Moreover, it identifies some implementation challenges and presents possible further EU action ranging from soft law guidance to standardisation to legislation in the field of ethics and AI. There are calls for clarifying the EU guidelines, fostering the adoption of ethical standards and adopting legally binding instruments to, inter alia, set common rules on transparency and common requirements for fundamental rights impact assessments, and to provide an adequate legal framework for face recognition technology. Finally, the paper gives an overview of the main ethical frameworks for AI under development in countries such as the United States and China.

Harmful internet use - Part II: Impact on culture and society

31-01-2019

It is increasingly recognised that the internet, in spite of all its benefits to society, can also be correlated with significant harms to individuals and society. Some of these harms have been studied extensively, particularly harms to privacy, harms associated with security and cybercrime, and harms resulting from digital divides. This report covers less studied but equally important harms: harms associated with internet use that concern the health, well-being a functioning of individuals, and ...

It is increasingly recognised that the internet, in spite of all its benefits to society, can also be correlated with significant harms to individuals and society. Some of these harms have been studied extensively, particularly harms to privacy, harms associated with security and cybercrime, and harms resulting from digital divides. This report covers less studied but equally important harms: harms associated with internet use that concern the health, well-being a functioning of individuals, and the impact on social structures and institutions. The Part II of the study address the harms of the internet at society level. The harms that are revised are among others: harms to cognitive development, information overload, harmful effects on knowledge and belief and harms to social relationships. The ultimate aim of the study is to develop concrete policy options to be considered by the EU Institutions and Member States, to mitigate harmful effects of the internet for European citizens.

Autore esterno

DG, EPRS

Statute for Social and Solidarity-based Enterprises

06-12-2017

Social enterprises combine societal goals with entrepreneurial spirit. These organisations focus on achieving wider social, environmental or community objectives. There is currently no specific European legal framework to help social enterprises to benefit from the internal market. Against this background, this European added value assessment identifies the challenges in the existing national legal frameworks regarding social enterprises. It argues that action at EU level would generate economic ...

Social enterprises combine societal goals with entrepreneurial spirit. These organisations focus on achieving wider social, environmental or community objectives. There is currently no specific European legal framework to help social enterprises to benefit from the internal market. Against this background, this European added value assessment identifies the challenges in the existing national legal frameworks regarding social enterprises. It argues that action at EU level would generate economic and social added value. Moreover, it outlines potential legislative measures that could be taken at EU level, and that could generate European added value through simplification and a coordinated approach in this area.

Research for REGI Committee - Integrated use of ESI funds to address social challenges

14-07-2017

The study aims to analyse the implementation of integrated approaches under the ESI Funds in addressing challenges related to social inclusion, including integration of migrants and refugees. Programme logic of intervention, combinations of thematic objectives, synergies with other EC policy instruments and the use of integrated tools are analysed for a set of programmes. Conclusions and recommendations are provided for the 2014-2020 and the next programming period.

The study aims to analyse the implementation of integrated approaches under the ESI Funds in addressing challenges related to social inclusion, including integration of migrants and refugees. Programme logic of intervention, combinations of thematic objectives, synergies with other EC policy instruments and the use of integrated tools are analysed for a set of programmes. Conclusions and recommendations are provided for the 2014-2020 and the next programming period.

Autore esterno

François LEVARLET, Nicola BRIGNANI, Andrea GRAMILLANO; Tamam Sarl: Armelle LEDAN PRADE; EureConsult: Thomas STUMM; Nordregio: Lisbeth GREVE HARBO

Empowerment of national competition authorities

13-07-2017

The IA consistently emphasises the benefits of effective enforcement of EU competition law throughout the EU and assesses the contribution of the screened policy options to the general and specific objectives of the proposal. Its strengths lie in the solid expertise, based on internal and external research, its clear structure and its overall coherence. The analysis of the problems and their causes, and of the objectives, is comprehensive and concise. However, despite a clear attempt to comply with ...

The IA consistently emphasises the benefits of effective enforcement of EU competition law throughout the EU and assesses the contribution of the screened policy options to the general and specific objectives of the proposal. Its strengths lie in the solid expertise, based on internal and external research, its clear structure and its overall coherence. The analysis of the problems and their causes, and of the objectives, is comprehensive and concise. However, despite a clear attempt to comply with the BR guidelines, there are some weaknesses. These include the limited quantification of costs and benefits, the rather limited range of policy options – considering that option 1 and 2 are identified from the start as being ineffective – and the limited assessment of the options, except for option 3, which appears to have been identified very early in the process as the preferred option. Finally, the IA does not develop any operational objectives for the preferred option. Consequently, the proposed core indicators relate to the specific objectives, which, in this case, are rather general. This might imply some challenges for the monitoring, measuring and evaluation of the implementation of the provisions in the future.

Measuring social impact in the EU

16-05-2017

Austerity measures in the wake of the financial crisis, coupled with fragile economic growth, have triggered a shift in the focus of EU policy-makers towards deepening the economic and monetary union and achieving greater social convergence across Member States. In addition, due to growing inequalities and changing labour markets, discussions on investing in human capital have also come to the fore. In this context, it has become all the more important to understand and assess the social impact of ...

Austerity measures in the wake of the financial crisis, coupled with fragile economic growth, have triggered a shift in the focus of EU policy-makers towards deepening the economic and monetary union and achieving greater social convergence across Member States. In addition, due to growing inequalities and changing labour markets, discussions on investing in human capital have also come to the fore. In this context, it has become all the more important to understand and assess the social impact of policies and investments. Moreover, both public and private investors want to gain a better understanding of the social outcomes that are achieved by their investments. There is no clear consensual definition of the concept of social impact: while the social sciences look at the impact of policies and programmes, often in terms of social progress, social investors tend to look for the non-financial (that is, social and environmental) returns on their investments, which they tend to quantify and/or express in monetary terms, if possible. Metrics and methodologies to carry out the measurement of social impact are numerous but incoherent. The European Commission and European Parliament have their own mechanisms for impact assessment, in which they also assess social impact. In addition, several initiatives aim at measuring the social dimension of growth beyond GDP, arguing that GDP in itself does not hold enough information on social progress. The third sector has developed several methodologies to measure social impact as well, due to its interest in investing in social causes. Unlike outputs, it is often difficult to quantify outcomes and impacts. Moreover, it is debated whether quantification, no matter how comprehensive it is, can express the intricate nature of the issues at hand. Finally, developing a coherent framework that would help to effectively link strategic thinking with policy-making and policy implementation, including investment, remains a policy challenge.

The future of work in the EU

24-04-2017

Economic and technical changes are redrawing the map of the world of work: new jobs are appearing while others are becoming obsolete, and atypical work patterns are replacing full-time work and open-ended contracts. In addition, work is increasingly being carried out on online platforms connecting buyers and sellers, or by large project teams across borders and time zones. Robotics and digitalisation raise new questions, as machines are progressively replacing the human workforce for routine tasks ...

Economic and technical changes are redrawing the map of the world of work: new jobs are appearing while others are becoming obsolete, and atypical work patterns are replacing full-time work and open-ended contracts. In addition, work is increasingly being carried out on online platforms connecting buyers and sellers, or by large project teams across borders and time zones. Robotics and digitalisation raise new questions, as machines are progressively replacing the human workforce for routine tasks, and as new types of professional and personal skills are required to respond to technological progress. Active labour-market policies are needed to cater for the changing reality in the world of work. This concerns social security systems, which must adapt to new, constantly changing, requirements, unresolved ethical and practical problems relating to robotics, and the need for new digital skills, which are essential to survive in the new working environment.

Energy performance of buildings

28-02-2017

The IA appears to provide a thorough analysis of the current situation and of the likely impacts of the proposed options, based on sound and comprehensive research. The Commission explains the models used for the analysis and is open about the key assumptions. The IA relies largely on the wide stakeholder consultation activities carried out for the ex post evaluation of the EPBD (published on the same day as the IA). However, generally speaking, the information on stakeholders' views in the IA could ...

The IA appears to provide a thorough analysis of the current situation and of the likely impacts of the proposed options, based on sound and comprehensive research. The Commission explains the models used for the analysis and is open about the key assumptions. The IA relies largely on the wide stakeholder consultation activities carried out for the ex post evaluation of the EPBD (published on the same day as the IA). However, generally speaking, the information on stakeholders' views in the IA could have been more precise; the stakeholder support for each option is not readily apparent from the IA.

Fostering social innovation in the European Union

17-01-2017

Strengthening the social dimensions of European Union policies, in general, and of the economic and monetary union, in particular is an increasingly important discourse across the Member States, particularly since the 2008 financial crisis. Social innovation, which is gaining increasing importance in the public, private and third (i.e. voluntary, non-profit) sectors, can greatly contribute to addressing the growing challenges, such as migration, poverty and global warming. The European Union particularly ...

Strengthening the social dimensions of European Union policies, in general, and of the economic and monetary union, in particular is an increasingly important discourse across the Member States, particularly since the 2008 financial crisis. Social innovation, which is gaining increasing importance in the public, private and third (i.e. voluntary, non-profit) sectors, can greatly contribute to addressing the growing challenges, such as migration, poverty and global warming. The European Union particularly promotes social innovation through employment and social policies as well as policies on the single market. The main initiatives explicitly target the governance and funding mechanism of social innovation, including its regulatory environment, powering public-sector innovation, the social economy, as well as providing policy guidance and fostering new policy practices. Due to the complexity of the concept and ecosystem of social innovation and its very diverse contexts in the Member States, European Union policies have varied impact: regulations can have controversial effects in terms of visibility of initiatives, and many organisations still cannot access sufficient funding. To make these initiatives more effective it is important to know more about the impact of social innovation, including its social and environmental value and the importance of these for the economy. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

Gender Equality in Trade Agreements

28-11-2016

Trade policies have different impacts on different groups of women and men. Carefully assessing the likely gender implications of specific trade agreements is therefore essential to ensure that both women and men benefit from the gains from liberalisation and are adequately protected from its negative effects. This study, commissioned by the European Parliament Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs upon request by the FEMM Committee, reviews evidence and makes recommendations ...

Trade policies have different impacts on different groups of women and men. Carefully assessing the likely gender implications of specific trade agreements is therefore essential to ensure that both women and men benefit from the gains from liberalisation and are adequately protected from its negative effects. This study, commissioned by the European Parliament Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs upon request by the FEMM Committee, reviews evidence and makes recommendations on how to ensure that new trade agreements such as CETA, TTIP and TiSA take gender equality objectives more fully into account.

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