Following the publication of its white paper on AI, the European Commission is working on a legislative framework for trustworthy AI which should be proposed in April 2021. To reduce gender, social or cultural bias in AI technologies, the Culture Committee adopted a resolution on Tuesday (16 March), which should be put to a vote in Parliament in April, on a clear ethical framework, preventing discrimination and protecting diversity.
Speaking after the Culture Committee vote, Sabine Verheyen (EPP, DE) said:
“We have fought for decades to assert our values of inclusion, non-discrimination, multilingualism and cultural diversity, which our citizens consider essential to our European identity.
These values must also be reflected online, where the use of AI algorithms and applications is increasingly developing. The development of quality and inclusive data systems for deep learning is essential, as is the establishment of a clear ethical framework to ensure access to culturally and linguistically diverse content.”
The use of artificial intelligence technologies in the audiovisual, cultural and educational sectors could impact “the backbone of our society’s fundamental values and rights”, says the Culture and Education Committee in a resolution adopted by 25 votes to 0 with 4 abstentions. The text calls for AI technologies to be regulated and trained to promote non-discrimination, gender equality, pluralism and cultural and linguistic diversity.
Regulating media algorithms to protect diversity
To prevent algorithm-based content recommendations, especially in video and music streaming services, from having a negative impact on the EU’s cultural and linguistic diversity, MEPs call for the development of indicators to measure diversity and ensure the promotion of European works.
The Commission should establish a clear ethical framework for the use of AI technologies in the European media, to ensure that the public has access to culturally and linguistically diverse content. Such a framework should also address the misuse of AI to spread fake news and disinformation, add MEPs.
Teaching EU values to artificial intelligence
MEPs call for preventing the use of biased data reflecting pre-existing gender inequalities or societal discrimination when training AI. They therefore call for the development, with the help of stakeholders and civil society, of inclusive and ethical datasets to be used in the deep learning process.
Finally, MEPs stress that teachers will always need to be able to correct decisions made by AI, especially regarding students’ final assessments. At the same time, they stress the need to train teachers and warn that they should never be replaced by AI technologies, especially in early childhood education.