The GSMA Backs the European Commission’s Draft for AI Ethics Guidelines

Ensuring Trustworthy AI Technology is Key to Maximise Benefits While Minimising Risks to Citizen’s Rights

25 January 2019, Brussels: The GSMA supports the Commission’s work to provide clear, comprehensive guidelines for trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies/systems. Following the stakeholder consultation on the European Commission’s AI Ethics Guidelines draft produced by the Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI HLEG), the GSMA has issued a position paper, outlining its support for the AI HLEG’s general approach and suggesting areas to develop further.

“We welcome the European Commission’s efforts to ensure a clear ethical purpose for AI from an early stage and agree that its development and deployment should respect fundamental human rights and existing regulation,” said Afke Schaart, VP and Head of Europe, GSMA. “We are strongly committed to working with the Commission and multi-stakeholder groups to deliver on this ambition.”

The general approach set out by the AI HLEG in the guidelines is clear and well-considered providing a strong foundation to position the EU at the forefront of trustworthy AI at a global level. As shown by existing regulation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the GSMA expects that a well-defined rules-based framework will help to shape global markets to the benefit of the consumer.

As a general comment on the guidelines, the GSMA recommends that they should be as focused as possible on AI, providing more technical details and specificity, making them a useful tool for AI product development or engineering staff, particularly within small organisations. The guidelines would prove more effective if they referred to existing comprehensive documents such as the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct.

The GSMA notes that there are many and varied beneficial applications of AI, including fraud prevention, mobile network optimisation and improved IT security, which should be encouraged rather than impeded by the guidelines. The GSMA strongly believes that AI technologies are implicitly useful tools and welcomes any responsible approach aimed at improving industry best practices.

The “GSMA Public Policy Position on the European Commission’s Draft Ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI” is available here.

Further information on the GSMA’s position on sustainable business models and responsible development of AI technologies is available here.

The GSMA Backs the European Commission’s Draft for AI Ethics Guidelines (pdf download)

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