ASME Submits Public Comments to European Commission on AI

Jun 26, 2020

by ASME.org

ASME’s Global Public Affairs department submitted public comments to the European Commission following its February 2020 white paper on “Artificial Intelligence: A European Approach,” which seeks to “foster a European ecosystem of excellence and trust in AI” via AI development, deployment, and regulation. The comments focused on a range of AI issues critical to the future of engineering, including bridging skills gaps, investing in public-private partnerships, innovating AI ecosystems, developing override mechanisms, and cementing a uniform regulatory scheme. An ASME-YouGov report from October 2019, “Solving Digital Engineering Challenges: Culture, Convergence, and Competencies,” was attached to support the comments as well.
 
Publicly commenting on the Commission’s white paper allowed ASME to voice concerns of the engineering community and offer the organization’s ability to neutrally convene global stakeholders’ perspectives from government, industry, and academia. To that end, the included ASME-YouGov report showcased major themes after the study had surveyed over 500 engineers worldwide from a range of industries. Beyond engineering fields, according to Analytics Insight, in May 2020 there were over 700,000 AI jobs available in the United States. 
 
Furthermore, as a global backdrop behind this white paper and ensuing EU legislation, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged every government worldwide; yet national AI priorities have been largely unwavering. For example, Brazil is still moving forward with its national AI strategy and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is still working with federal agencies to comply with its AI guidance.
 
Constituted in a much different shape than the European model, the U.S. regulatory framework faces challenges that disruptive technologies present—as they are mostly regulated at the margins, instead of following a scheme of “hard laws” that unambiguously define boundaries.
 
To read the European Commission’s AI white paper, please visit: https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/white-paper-artificial-intelligence-european-approach-excellence-and-trust_en.
 
To engage with ASME on this issue, please do not hesitate to reach out to Aaron Weinerman, Manager, Global Public Affairs, at WeinermanA@asme.org.

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