The EU just revealed the 7 laws of AI – and they’re nowhere near as cool as Asimov’s

If you’ve seen the Terminator then you know just how scary AI run amok can be. Which is why it’s no surprise the European Commission’s (EC) just unveiled 7 laws tech companies will have to follow when making artificial intelligences.

The EC published the laws on Monday and mean that any AI technology developed, or deployed in Europe should have or consider:

  1. Human agency and oversight
  2. Robustness and safety
  3. Privacy and data governance
  4. Diversity, non-discrimination and fairness
  5. Transparency
  6. Societal and environmental well-being
  7. Accountability

Sound a little wishy-washy? We thought so, especially when you compare them to the three laws of robotics seen in Isaac Asimov’s seminal Sci-Fi works, which cover the important stuff, like robots not taking over the world, or killing people. For non-Asimov fans – also known as people with no taste – the three laws are:

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  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Despite the lack of a firm “don’t kill humans” law the EC seems pretty chuffed with its guidelines. Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said the laws were created in partnership with industry experts and include robust “ethical” elements.

“I welcome the work undertaken by our independent experts. The ethical dimension of AI is not a luxury feature or an add-on. It is only with trust that our society can fully benefit from technologies. Ethical AI is a win-win proposition that can become a competitive advantage for Europe: being a leader of human-centric AI that people can trust,” he said.

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Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel added that the laws are only the start, and the EC plans to build and develop them as AI advances.

“ We now have a solid foundation based on EU values and following an extensive and constructive engagement from many stakeholders including businesses, academia and civil society. We will now put these requirements to practice and at the same time foster an international discussion on human-centric AI,” Said Gabriel.

Artificial intelligence is often viewed as one of the most dangerous technologies currently in development. Big names in the technology and science community including Bill Gates, Elon Musk and now deceased scientist Stephen Hawking all issued warnings about the development of AI technologies.

Think the EU’s seven laws for AI are strong enough? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.

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