Artificial intelligence: EU must ensure a fair and safe use for consumers

AI

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


MEPs want a strong set of rights to protect consumers in the context of artificial intelligence and automated decision-making.

Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee approved on Thursday a resolution addressing several challenges arising from the rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) and automated decision-making (ADM) technologies.

When consumers interact with an ADM system, they should be “properly informed about how it functions, about how to reach a human with decision-making powers, and about how the system’s decisions can be checked and corrected”, says the committee.

Those systems should only use high-quality and unbiased data sets and “explainable and unbiased algorithms” in order to boost consumer trust and acceptance, states the resolution. Review structures should be set up to remedy possible mistakes in automated decisions. It should also be possible for consumers to seek human review of, and redress for, automated decisions that are final and permanent.

“Humans must always be ultimately responsible for, and able to overrule, decisions” that are taken via ADM processes, especially in relation to the medical, legal and accounting professions and the banking sector, MEPs underline.

Adjust safety and liability rules to the new technologies

AI-enabled products may evolve and act in ways not envisaged when they were first placed on the market. MEPs urge the Commission to table proposals adapting the EU’s safety rules for products (e.g. directives on machinery and toy safety) to ensure that consumers are protected from harm, manufacturers are clear on their obligations and users are informed about how to use those products.

The Product Liability Directive, adopted over 30 years ago, would also need to be updated to adapt concepts such as ‘product’ ‘damage’ and ‘defect’ as well as rules governing the burden of proof, says the committee.

MEPs call for a risk-assessment scheme for AI and ADM and for a common EU approach to help secure the benefits of those processes and mitigate the risks across the EU.

Check differentiated pricing and discrimination

Under EU law, traders must inform consumers when the price of goods or services has been personalised on the basis of ADM, MEPs recall, asking the Commission to closely monitor the implementation of those rules. It must also check how the EU regulation banning unjustified geo-blocking is applied to ensure that ADM is not being used to discriminate against consumers based on their nationality, place of residence or temporary location.

Quote

Petra De Sutter (Greens/EFA, BE), Chair of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, said: “Technology in the field of artificial intelligence and automated decision-making is advancing at a remarkable pace. The committee has today welcomed the potential of these advances, while at the same time highlighting three important issues that need to be addressed. We have to make sure that consumer protection and trust is ensured, that the EU’s rules on safety and liability for products and services are fit for purpose in the digital age and that the data sets used in automated decision-making systems are of high-quality and are unbiased”.

Next steps

The resolution, approved in committee by 39 votes in favour, none against and four abstentions, will be voted on by the full House in a forthcoming plenary session. It will further feed into Parliament’s work on this topic.

After the vote in plenary, the resolution will be transmitted to the EU Council (member states) and the Commission, so that they take into account MEPs’ views on AI and ADM. The Commission announced that it is due to present its plans for a European approach to AI on 19 February 2020.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

This credit card has a carbon-emission spending limit

Mergers: Commission approves the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. and Peugeot S.A., subject to conditions

8 ways ASEAN consumer habits will change by 2030 – shaped by COVID-19, tech and more

#EUBeachCleanUp: EU organises record number of cleaning actions worldwide

Budget MEPs approve €34m in EU aid to Greece, Poland, Lithuania and Bulgaria

3 vital steps to a new gender equality playbook

Stronger European Border and Coast Guard to secure EU’s borders

Taxation: Commission refers Hungary to the Court for failing to apply the minimum EU excise duty on cigarettes

The world needs a circular economy. Help us make it happen

Landmine casualties high for third consecutive year despite record funding, latest monitor reports

Mental health: privilege in coronavirus times

Foreign Investment Screening: new European framework to enter into force in April 2019

Human rights in Brussels and in Beijing: a more balanced approach needed

EP launches Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism on anniversary of her murder

These charts show where the world’s refugees came from in 2017 – and where they’re heading

Skills: Five new cross-border collaboration projects selected for Erasmus+ funding to develop excellence in vocational training in Europe

Closure of borders: Civil Liberties Chair demands proportionality and coordination within the EU

Syria: Why did the US-Russia brokered ceasefire collapse? What does the duo care for?

COVID-19 is an unmissable chance to put people and the planet first

Hostages to a rampant banking system

South Eurozone urgently needs fairer distribution of taxation burden

A year on from Yemen talks breakthrough, top UN Envoy hails ‘shift’ towards peace, despite setbacks

FROM THE FIELD: 10,000 Indonesia quake survivors to receive UN tents

Banking on sustainability – what’s next?

Financing fossil fuels risks a repeat of the 2008 crash. Here’s why

Egypt: The road to hell paved with western advices for democracy

Why we need a mindset shift to combat the new wave of supply-chain cyberattacks

Sustainable investment continues to gain momentum

More women and girls needed in the sciences to solve world’s biggest challenges

Continue ‘their mission’ urges UN chief, as the victims of the Baghdad bombing are remembered, 15 years on

Facebook wins EU approval for WhatsApp acquisition; just a sign of the times

Governments urged to put first ever UN global migration pact in motion, post-Marrakech

European Defence Fund on track with €525 million for Eurodrone and other joint research and industrial projects

Taxation: Commission refers Poland to Court for failing to remove certain tax exemptions on the use of energy products by highly polluting businesses

MEPs propose measures to combat mobbing and sexual harassment

Q and A on the draft digital copyright directive

25 years after population conference, women still face challenges to ‘well-being and human rights’, says UN chief

Energy Union: Commission calls on Member States to step up ambition in plans to implement Paris agreement

EU and Germany join efforts to support the African Union’s response to coronavirus

State aid: Commission approves €840 million German guarantee scheme to protect consumers and support the travel industry in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

What does the world really think about the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

Sweden gives all employees time off to be entrepreneurs

Mental Health Policy, a significant driver for growth

‘Water-forecasting’ and fish farms fed on waste: how innovation is driving the blue economy

The world needs carbon-neutral flying. Here’s how to bring it one step closer

China’s cities are rapidly becoming more competitive. Here’s why

Five years down the drain

Changing healthcare systems with simple technological solutions

The first-ever climate telethon has raised $2.6 million for new forests

Two days left until General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), lots of newsletter opt-outs but does the EU citizen really know?

From DIY editing to matchmaking by DNA: how human genomics is changing society

Security Council must ‘come together’ to address the plight of children trapped in armed conflict, says UN envoy

Science is everybody’s party: 6 ways to support diversity and inclusion in STEM

UN civil society conference to focus on sustainable solutions for challenges of urban life

Brussels waits for the Germans to arrive

Indonesia is buzzing with entrepreneurial spirit. And others in ASEAN aren’t far behind

The IMF overstates the risks for Eurozone and downgrades the threats for the US economy

This brewery is ditching plastic six-pack rings to save marine life

Three ideas for leaders to be more successful in the 21st century

Can a Bavarian Oktoberfest beer indulger bring down the Berlin government?

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s