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The Week Ahead Europe: Europe's plans for AI regulation take shape

Artificial intelligence is on the agenda at three events across Europe this week as policymakers and tech companies weigh its implications.

EU Commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality Věra Jourová will deliver a keynote lecture in London on June 3 on Europe's approach to technology regulation in the coming years. The opportunities and societal risks associated with AI will be the basis of her speech.

According to chipmakers Intel Corp. and Qualcomm Inc., AI and 5G technologies are poised to deliver everything from smart cars to smart cities.

At the same time, the tech industry and politicians are grappling with the ethical concerns associated with algorithms and big data.

"We have to find a way that AI as a technology will be a force of good rather than multiply bias," Jourová said at an event hosted by the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings on April 11. Brookings is a think tank focusing in part on bias in algorithms.

In an interview with S&P Global Market Intelligence last month, Microsoft Corp. Greater China AI and Area Transformation Lead Jason Tsao said that inaccurate data is often to blame for AI's ethical bias.

The timing of Jourová's keynote comes just weeks after the first anniversary of the EU's introduction of sweeping data-privacy laws, known as GDPR.

June also marks a year since the formation of the European AI Alliance, a European Commission-appointed group of representatives from business, academia and civil society organizations.

The group authored the EU's guidelines on developing ethical AI, published in April, which call for more human oversight over machine learning systems, secure and private data storage, transparency and unbiased services.

According to the European Commission, the aim of the rules is to bring the same clarity to AI-based applications as the GDPR did for consumer privacy.

The EC has promised to invest €20 billion of private and public investments into AI by the end of 2020.

To meet the target, the commission promised to increase its spending by €1.5 billion in 2018-20, under the EU research program known as Horizon 2020.

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Europe:

June 3-4 The EU Agency for network and information security will consider the uses and applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the context of cybersecurity as part of a two-day event.
June 6-7

Representatives from Google, Slack and eBay will descend upon the WeAreDevelopers World Congress in Berlin to talk about everything from AI to gaming.

June 7

The EU's Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council will discuss online privacy and cybersecurity reform proposals. It will also adopt decisions on the future of a highly digitized Europe beyond 2020 and the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019.

United Kingdom:
June 3

Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, will deliver a keynote on Europe's response to AI and privacy at the UCL European Institute, London.

June 4

The House of Lords Communications Committee will hold an oral evidence session as part of its ongoing inquiry into public service broadcasting in the age of video on demand.

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