FERMA Puts Forward Priorities for Artificial Intelligence Expert Group

Robot hand holding globe in palm with computer screen in background

July 10, 2018 |

Robot hand holding globe in palm with computer screen in background

The European Commission appointed 52 experts to the new High-Level Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI). The group includes representatives of academia, business, and civil society that will support the implementation of the European Commission's communication on Artificial Intelligence for Europe that was published in April 2018.

The High-Level Expert Group will make recommendations on how to address mid- and long-term challenges and opportunities related to AI. The recommendations will feed into the policy development process, the legislative evaluation process, and the development of a next-generation digital strategy. The group will also prepare draft ethics guidelines that will build on the work of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies and of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in this area. The guidelines will cover issues such as fairness; safety; transparency; the future of work; and—more broadly—the impact on upholding fundamental rights, including privacy and personal data protection, dignity, consumer protection and nondiscrimination. The draft guidelines will be finalized by the end of the year and presented to the Commission at the beginning of 2019.

The Federation of European Risk Management Associations (FERMA) calls the High-Level Group to address the two following priorities for corporations.

  • Draw a clear line between the opportunities of AI technologies and the threats posed by the same technologies to the insurability of organizations as a result of over-reliance on AI during decision making processes.
  • Define ethical rules for the corporate use of AI not just for employees, but also for  suppliers and all actors of the value chain. AI tools will allow increased and constant monitoring of a very high number of different parameters. The risk management profession believes that this greater use of data could create concerns among stakeholders and risks to reputation.

Jo Willaert, the president of FERMA, said, "FERMA stands ready to bring its unique expertise in enterprise risk management methodology and tools, such as risk identification and mapping, risk control, and risk financing, to the discussion so we can manage the threats and opportunities posed by the rise of AI to our organizations and society within acceptable risk tolerances."

He continued, "FERMA argues that the new possibilities offered by AI must remain compatible with the public interest and those of the economy and commercial organization. AI is already a reality in many organizations and it is going to disrupt our comprehension of the future. Public authorities have a key role to play to ensure that there is a human judgement as a last resort. This dialogue between regulators and AI users must start now, and the newly set up [High-Level Expert Group] and open access European AI Alliance are the right settings."

July 10, 2018