17 employers' organizations from nine EU Member States from Central and Eastern Europe, including the Bulgarian Industrial Association, sent a joint statement to the European political elite. The document contains five key points that can help address the challenges and opportunities arising from the entry of artificial intelligence into economic and social life.
We, the undersigned trade associations and AI Platforms from Central and Eastern Europe, fully support the European Commission's goal to develop a common approach towards the opportunities and challenges that come hand in hand with the development of artificial intelligence. We are all aware of the importance of creating fundamental principles and core values on which we can further develop artificial intelligence systems, while becoming one of the world leaders in this field.
We are convinced that Europe has the expertise to fully open this unprecedented opportunity and our associations are prepared to support the EU in this endeavour. With every new opportunity comes a new challenge. That is why we decided to unite within the region of Central and Eastern Europe and help overcome obstacles by offering our views and feedback for issues under discussion. With this joint statement, we would like to address you with some of our thoughts on possible future AI regulation.
- The questions we will face if we want to govern this area successfully can only be answered through dialogue between policymakers, AI professionals, businesses and civil society. There are many areas we can work together to find the best way on responsible development and use of AI, such as fairness, safety and liability, data protection or explainability
- We must keep in mind the positive impact AI has and is likely to have in the future on the economy of the Member States and Europe as a whole. Policymakers should therefore help encourage the broad adoption of AI while avoiding regulatory measures that limit the ability of European businesses and citizens to fully benefit from the potential of AI. Of course, this should be respectful of personal data and privacy protection principles
- As the European AI industry representatives we would benefit greatly from the European Commission providing us with guiding principles for self-regulation and co-regulation, as they would play an important role helping European businesses to develop advanced technologies responsibly
- In areas where regulation is necessary we must first utilize a number of existing laws on technology development. Therefore, we should avoid creating new conflicting and complex legislation and build on the foundations we already have instead. Furthermore, any new regulation must be smart and take into account not only ethical and social considerations, but also economic impact and practical implementation of new rules
- We are aware of certain risks connected to AI use and development. Yet, we believe that no “one size fits all” type of regulation can be applied to AI effectively. Instead of general prohibition of AI usage in certain areas e.g. facial recognition technology, we recommend a risk-based approach, which means a different set of rules for different risks to reflect the differences in context and application. This should take into account not just the possibility of harm, but also its probability, and extent to which harms could be remedied — as well as harms to society from not utilising AI. Heavy handed, overly broad regulation, would have a detrimental effect on innovation in the EU and would prevent companies from launching AI applications in Europe in areas of high value to the society
Opportunities brought by AI are imperative to ensuring European competitiveness, but for that we must protect our scientific and business freedom to innovate in Europe. We, the undersigned trade associations and AI Platforms from the region of Central and Eastern Europe, wish to engage constructively in further AI regulation discussions and are looking forward to sharing our knowledge and expertise to help come up with quality policies that would benefit Europe and the European society