Robot hand, symbolising artificial intelligence

Robot hand, symbolising artificial intelligence

© iStock.com/JONGHO SHIN

The Federal Government today submitted its comments to the European Commission on the ‘White Paper on Artificial Intelligence – a European approach to excellence and trust’ and the ‘Commission Report on safety and liability implications of AI, the Internet of Things and Robotics’. The Federal Government's goal is to encourage the responsible development and use of artificial intelligence for the common good and to the benefit of humanity, and to boost competitiveness and innovation in the European Union.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, and the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection played a leading role in preparing the comments.

Federal Minister Peter Altmaier said: "Now is the time to invest in key AI initiatives in order to safeguard our future innovative strength and competitiveness. This will also help us to cope with crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. Above all, we must support small and medium-sized companies in using artificial intelligence. When it comes to regulation, we must be careful to ensure that it fosters innovation rather than restricting it".

Federal Minister Anja Karliczek said: "Together with Europe, we want to become the global leader in AI research and application. To achieve this, we need excellent conditions for research and the transfer of knowledge to industry. For it is clear that research and development is a key component of the value chain, thus providing the basis for sustainable economic success. An important factor in this context is that AI applications need to be reliable in order to gain the users’ trust. Only then will AI systems be used at a large scale. Regulation should therefore be used as a tool to strengthen trust in AI and to create a pro-innovation policy environment".

Federal Minister Hubertus Heil said: "Europe should develop its own approach to digitalisation and do so with great self-confidence. This includes that we must agree on a common concept for an AI regulatory framework. To this end, we need to clearly define our protection goals and identify the principles requiring protection – whether it be transparency, traceability or that the final decision is always taken by a human being. These objectives and principles should be incorporated into the legal framework to be established. The EU Commission's White Paper is an important step towards ensuring our sovereignty in the digital world".

Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer said: "Artificial intelligence is profoundly changing our world and is increasingly finding its way into our everyday lives, business and administration. As Minister in charge of protecting the Constitution and of ensuring data security, it is important to me that AI applications are not only innovative but also secure – from hacker attacks, sabotage and unauthorised data leakage. I am therefore committed to the goal of developing secure ‘AI made in Europe’ for the common good, which is in line with our laws and values and at the same time open to development".

Federal Minister Christine Lambrecht said: "Trust is an important asset, also in times of digital change. I am therefore all the more pleased that the European Commission’s White Paper provides strong impetus for the use of artificial intelligence in the future. Only if we manage to consistently address the risks of AI will we be able to harness the opportunities offered by AI technology and gain broad public acceptance for its use. I will actively support the European Commission on this path".

On February 19, the European Commission presented its White Paper on Artificial Intelligence. It contains measures and policies to promote the use of AI and to address the risks associated with it. At the same time, the European Commission published a report on safety and liability implications of AI, the Internet of Things and robotics. The publication of both documents was accompanied by a broad consultation process. All interested parties were allowed to participate in the process and to provide their input.