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AI Excellence: Ensuring that AI works for people

The Commission is committed to ensuring AI works for people by fostering digital skills and promoting a human-centric approach to AI globally.

AI technologies offer the potential to advance Europe’s economic growth and competitiveness. They also offer opportunities to improve the lives of EU citizens through developments in health, farming, education, employment, energy, transport, security, and more.

AI should work for people and people should be able to trust AI technologies. So, the EU has to ensure that AI developed and put on the market in the EU is human-centric, sustainable, secure, inclusive and trustworthy. The key proposed actions focus on:

  • nurturing talent and improving AI skills
  • developing a policy framework to secure trust in AI systems
  • promoting the EU vision on sustainable and trustworthy AI in the world

Nurturing talent and improving skills

Digital skills are incredibly important as Europe moves into the Digital Decade. The EU needs professionals with specialised AI skills to remain competitive globally and should ensure a high-level of computing skills in general to avoid job market polarisation.

To help achieve this, the Commission will:

  • support traineeships in digital areas, with an increased focus on AI skills. Traineeships should follow the principle of non-discrimination and gender equality as outlined in the Digital Education Programme
  • launch a call for specialised education programmes and courses in key areas, under the Digital Europe Programme
  • support networks of AI excellence centres to retain talent and develop PhD programmes and AI modules under the Horizon Europe programme
  • fund doctoral networks, postdoctoral fellowships and staff exchange projects in AI under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions
  • support the development of new skills under the Skills Agenda

Developing a policy framework to ensure trust in AI systems

Trust is essential to facilitate the uptake of AI. The Commission has developed key principles to guide the European approach to AI that take into account the social and environmental impact of AI technologies. They include a human-centric way of developing and using AI, the protection of EU values and fundamental rights such as non-discrimination, privacy and data protection, and the sustainable and efficient use of resources.

The Commission proposes a number of measures and legislative actions to foster trust in AI. These include:

  • a proposal for a horizontal framework for AI, focusing on safety and respect for fundamental rights specific to AI technologies
  • EU measures adapting the liability framework to the challenges of new technologies, including AI
  • revisions to existing sectoral safety legislation
  • security operation centres, powered by AI, to act as a 'cybershield’ for the EU, able to detect signs of a cyberattack early enough and to enable proactive action

The Commission will continue to cooperate with stakeholders and organisations including EU agencies and standard-setting organisations, to build trustworthy AI.

Promoting the EU vision on sustainable and trustworthy AI in the world

As outlined in the Digital Compass: the European way for the digital decade, Europe’s actions on the international stage are more important than ever. This includes in AI, as the risks and challenges of this technology go beyond national and continental borders.

The Commission will promote its human-centric approach to AI on the global stage and will encourage the adoption of global rules and standards on AI, as well as strengthen collaboration with like-minded countries and stakeholders. 

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