Engagement with publics and expert stakeholders is part of the Human Brain project’s approach to responsible research and innovation. One outcome of the work is seven recommendations for the European Commission’s whitepaper on AI from the Danish Board of Technology Foundation. The recommendations are based on input from experts in law, ethics, social science, economy and human rights and more than 900 European citizens.

The whitepaper was published on 19 February 2020 and the hearing ended on 14 June. The commission’s proposal is very much focused on trustworthy AI, in the sense that if we use AI technology in self-driving cars, in clinical applications, for legal purposes or policing, there should be strict rules in place to ensure both control and safety of these systems. However, based on the public engagement activities carried out in the Human Brain Project, the Danish Board of Technology pointed out some blind spots in the proposal, and offer seven concrete recommendations:

  1. Undertake work to uncover and address the full range of potentially abusive uses of AI, including societal, political, security, intelligence, and military domains.
  2. Make obligatory regulation for all AI.
  3. Reconsider the distinction between high and low risk AI.
  4. Encourage public authorities to carry out a comprehensive investigation of their local challenges before implementing AI solutions.
  5. Build trust by supplementing balanced information with involving citizens in deliberation, agenda-setting, prioritization and decision making.
  6. Encourage national and European deliberation and action on the role of digital spaces of interaction, news and debate central to the functioning of our democracies, human rights and well-being of European citizens.
  7. Human oversight should be complimented by human insight and explainability

The feedback letter was written by Lise Bitsch and Nicklas Bang Bådum. You can read it in full: Bringing voices from society to bear on the EC white paper On Artificial Intelligence – A European approach to excellence and trust

By Josepine Fernow

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