Life is shifting further and further into the digital world, or rather the analog world is being complemented by the digital one. Just as the Internet changed society a few decades ago, AI will now bring about a significant change. How we face this as the European Union, the state and the individual now needs to be defined. With the proposal for a Regulation laying down harmonised rules on Artificial Intelligence (AI Act for short), the European Union is setting a first milestone around the regulation, definition and approach to artificial intelligence.
AI has the potential to bring about a number of positive effects. The advances in the technology are remarkable and offer many opportunities for positive developments.AI applications do not only make an important contribution to the sustainability of society and economy in a modern and interconnected age, but can also help us tackle major challenges like climate change.
However, while AI offers immense potential, it also presents inherent risks and challenges that need to be addressed. As generative AI models, such as OpenAI'sChatGPT, have created an additional source of information available to a wide range of users, it is crucial that AI systems remain transparent, fair and trustworthy, and are not driven by any particular ideology. Any kind of manipulation and influencing of information poses a threat to the free formation of opinion and thus also has a negative impact on our society. It is therefore important to regulate AI in a way that ensures AI systems are transparent, fair and trustworthy, safeguarding our fundamental rights.Robust regulation is essential to protect against the potential misuse of AI technology and to ensure that it operates in a way that upholds ethical standards and respects individual rights.
At the same time, we must not forget that innovation is crucial for our global competitiveness. One of the key objectives of the AI Act is to strike a delicate balance between enabling innovation and ensuring the safe and ethical use of AI technology. By adopting a balanced approach, one that takes into account both the protection of fundamental rights and the promotion of innovation, we can create an environment that encourages responsible advancements in AI while upholding the values of a democratic society. Striking this balance will enable us to harness the potential of AI while minimizing the risks associated with its misuse.
In Austria, we have a strong interest in the responsible use of AI and in strengthening trust in this technology. We want to use AI in accordance with our free and democratic values. To achieve this, we are actively engaged at the European level through the negotiations on the AI Act and at the national level through the establishment of a future AI Authority. These regulatory measures are designed to take the AI industry to new heights, foster innovation and drive economic growth in our country. I firmly believe that this effort will mark a significant milestone in our journey towards the responsible use of AI.
foto credit: Ministry of Finance