Europe Will Be Left Behind If It Focuses on Ethics and Not Keeping Pace in AI Development

August 7, 2019

President-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, made clear in her recently unveiled policy agenda, that not only will artificial intelligence (AI) be a key component of European digital strategy, but the cornerstone of the European AI plan will be to develop “AI made in Europe” that is more ethical than AI made anywhere else in the world. However, as Daniel Castro writes for Euronews, the idea that Europe can become the global leader in AI by creating the most ethical AI systems is built on three fallacies: that there is a market for AI that is ethical-by-design; that other countries are not interested in AI ethics; and that Europeans have a competitive advantage in producing AI systems that are more ethical than those produced elsewhere. Instead, Europe must compete to build the best performing AI systems, rather than the most ethical. The future global leaders in AI will ultimately shape its direction, and Europe will be left behind if it is not able to keep pace.