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AI and Ethics: The European Approach

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Centre for Technology and Global Affairs

Manor Road Building

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AI and Ethics: The European Approach

Speaker: Roberto Viola (Director General of DG CONNECT at the European Commission)

Chair: Lucas Kello (University of Oxford)


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most transformative forces of our time, and is bound to alter the fabric of society. It presents a great opportunity to increase prosperity and growth, which Europe must strive to achieve. Over the last decade, major advances were realised due to the availability of vast amounts of digital data, powerful computing architectures, and advances in AI techniques such as machine learning. Major AI-enabled developments in autonomous vehicles, healthcare, home/service robots, education, or cybersecurity are improving the quality of our lives every day. Furthermore, AI is key for addressing many of the grand challenges facing the world, such as global health and wellbeing, climate change, reliable legal and democratic systems, and others expressed in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Having the capability to generate tremendous benefits for individuals and society, AI also gives rise to certain risks that should be properly managed. Given that, on the whole, AI’s benefits outweigh its risks, we must ensure to follow the road that maximises the benefits of AI while minimising its risks. To ensure that we stay on the right track, a human-centric approach to AI is needed, forcing us to keep in mind that the development and use of AI should not be seen as a means in itself, but as having the goal to increase human well-being. This lecture will explore these issues further.

About the Speaker

Roberto Viola is Director General of DG CONNECT (Directorate General of Communication, Networks, Content and Technology) at the European Commission. He was the Deputy Director-General of DG CONNECT, European Commission from 2012 to 2015.

He served as Chairman of the European Radio Spectrum Policy group (RSPG) from 2012 to 2013, as Deputy Chairman in 2011 and Chairman in 2010. He was a member of the BEREC Board (Body of European Telecom Regulators), and Chairman of the European Regulatory Group (ERG).

Roberto held the position of Secretary General in charge of managing AGCOM, from 2005 to 2012. Prior to this, he served as Director of the Regulation Department and Technical Director in AGCOM from 1999 to 2004. From 1985-1999 he served in various positions including Head of Telecommunication and Broadcasting Satellite Services at the European Space Agency (ESA).

He holds a Doctorate in Electronic Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA).



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Centre for Technology and Global Affairs

Manor Road Building

Manor Road

Oxford

OX1 3UQ

United Kingdom

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