Workers voice in Commission report on artificial intelligence

Tomorrow the European Commission launches a report by a High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI) giving recommendations to the EU on ethics for trustworthy AI. 

Thiébaut Weber, Confederal Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, was the only trade union representative on the High-Level Group.

“The recommendations are the result of long and sometimes lively discussions, with some industry representatives and techno-(over)optimistic members pushing the group to underestimate the risks. The final outcome is a good basis for the development of European AI.”  

It will now be up to the European Commission to turn the recommendations into concrete initiatives to support AI in Europe, and to ensure it serves the common good and social well-being.

“Europe can gain a competitive advantage by developing AI that is trustworthy and socially and ethically responsible.”   

The ETUC’s participation was crucial to bring a worker’s voice to the discussion and to ensure that the need for workers’ to be informed and consulted and participate in decisions on the way AI operates at work was understood.

“AI is exciting and scary” added Weber. “It is certainly innovative and can bring jobs and progress, but its development is too important to be driven only by the profit motive. It needs to grow in an ethical regulatory framework to make sure it serves and not enslaves humanity.”