The European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE Committee) has decided to work on an own-initiative-procedure on “A comprehensive European industrial policy on artificial intelligence and robotics”
In June 2018, the ITRE Committee announced the launch of an own-initiative report on artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. Although the ITRE Committee is responsible for this file, several other Committees will give an opinion that will directly feed into the final report. One of these Committees is the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI Committee) which has recently discussed its draft opinion prepared by Bolesław G. Piecha (ECR, Poland).
According to Mr. Piecha, AI will lead to a revolution that requires Europe to get ready to handle the corresponding changes, regarding for example health programmes, medical technology etc. He further stated that although robotics and AI can and are used in surgery, a lot of questions remain due to the lack of regulation. That is the reason why the report should call upon the Commission to work on an action plan.
During the debate, Juha Heikkilä, head of unit ‘artificial intelligence and robotics’ in DG CONNECT (Commission) confirmed that the European Commission would like to have a European approach on this topic.
Even though the Commission is opening the door to the development of a European framework on AI and robotics, it should be kept in mind that such a decision will be left to the next Commission that will take office after the May 2019 elections. An outreach programme targeting the Members involved in this dossier could however be considered as part of the activities of the policy development working group.
Own-initiative (INI) reports are non-legislative reports initiated by the Members of the European Parliaments (MEPs), which are aimed at defining the European agenda in the early phase of the legislative cycle . They often pave the way for new legislative proposals, exploring various topics of interest to Members, responding to Commission communications and expressing Parliament's position on various aspects of European integration.