There’s a lot of fear surrounding artificial intelligence these days, and it’s hard to know what's warranted and what isn’t.
"Responsible AI" concerns applications of AI whose actions need to be
explainable and governed from both a legal and ethical standpoint because
they are either safety critical or impact the lives of citizens in
As AI and automated systems have come of age in recent years, they promise
ever more powerful decision making, providing huge potential benefits to
humankind through their performance of mundane, yet sometimes safety critical
tasks, where they can perform better than humans. Research and development in
these areas will not abate and functional progress is unstoppable, but there
is a clear need for ethical considerations applied to, and regulatory
governance of, these systems, as well as AI safety in general with
well-publicised concerns over the responsibility and decision-making of
autonomous vehicles as well as privacy threats, and potentially prejudicial
or discriminatory behaviours of web applications.
Influential figures such as Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have voiced
concerns over the potential threats of undisciplined AI, with Musk describing
AI as an existential threat to human civilisation and calling for its
regulation. Recent studies into the next generation of the Internet such as
Overton and Takahashi concur that regulation and ethical governance of AI
and automation is necessary, especially in safety critical systems and
The above issues and others are encapsulated in the “Asilomar AI
Principles”, a unifying set of principles that are widely supported and
should guide the development of beneficial AI, but how should these
principles be translated into a research agenda for the EC?