The European Commission expects AI to significantly improve the lives of EU citizens and bring major benefits to society and economy through better healthcare, more efficient public administration, safer transport, a more competitive industry, and sustainable farming (European Commission, 2018b). Various AI applications are increasingly utilised in a diverse ranges of domains, including monitoring traffic congestion, employee hiring, metering smart energy grids, preforming credit checks, assessing recidivism risks when deciding sentences, and many more. They can guide decisions that up until recently only extensively trained humans could perform. The potential for AI to overcome limitations of humans when dealing with computationally intensive tasks and augment intellectual and perhaps even creative capabilities, opens up new application domains, with impacts on productivity and performance. Alongside opportunities, AI brings also risks and challenges, as always occurs with new waves of technological innovation. It presents new and unknown risks that may or may not require ad hoc laws and regulation.
This report features in the EIT Digital policy perspective report series and is the result of a combined effort from five EIT KICs (EIT Manufacturing, EIT Urban Mobility, EIT Health, EIT Climate-KIC, and EIT Digital as coordinator). By tapping into the vast innovation and application knowledge, the report identifies both general and sector specific concerns and opportunities for the further deployment of AI in Europe. The report provides business and policy decision makers with a scenario-based impact assessment instrument. The scenarios off-set generic across the board application of policies and regulation against domain specific policies and regulation; and on the other hand, the level of regulation varying from soft to firm. Next to the generic concerns and opportunities shared by all application domains, the report also identifies the key concerns and opportunities regarding AI in the domains of manufacturing, urban mobility, health, and climate and energy. This together with the core policy levels available to mitigate the concerns and embark on the opportunities.