António Rebelo de Sousa

From the «Atlantic» Conception of Democracy to the «Continental» Conception

António Rebelo de Sousa

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Artificial intelligence serving the individual

José Manuel Fernandes

Portuguese MEP, professor and politician

José Manuel Fernandes
The individual must be the focus at the centre of political decision-making. European values, democracy, the rule of law, freedom, the defence of life and human dignity must underpin and guide this decision. This also has to be the case where Artificial Intelligence (AI) is concerned. We don’t always notice its presence, but it already has a strong influence on our lives. AI is helping us to solve some of the biggest challenges on a global scale, such as treating diseases, reducing death rates in road accidents, fighting climate change, anticipating threats and cybersecurity.
The benefits that AI, the Internet of things and robotics bring to society must not lead to any form of discrimination and must protect the data, dignity and freedom of every person. Fundamental rights must be guaranteed. Trust implies transparency, favouring technological and scientific development. It was on the basis of these values and principles that, in June this year, the European Parliament agreed its position on the Artificial Intelligence Regulation. I hope that the negotiations with the Council will be finalised quickly so that the EU will become a pioneer in regulating these technologies.
The EU should aspire to world leadership in research, AI and industrial capacity. The Horizon Europe and Digital Europe programmes aim to invest one billion Euros a year in AI. In order to strengthen territorial, economic and social cohesion, it is essential that all territories have access to «fast Internet». To achieve this, in addition to cohesion policy, Member States have the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which provides 134 billion Euros for the digital area.
In the future, the impact of AI will be greater than that resulting from the digital revolution with the emergence of mobile phones and the Internet. That’s why it’s essential for every citizen to be able to maximise the benefits of AI. With ambition and without fear, AI will be a key to a more competitive, inclusive and secure EU.
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