Telecommunications ministers to discuss Artificial Intelligence Act

Source: Slovenian presidency of the EU i, published on Wednesday, October 13 2021.

The EU ministers responsible for telecommunications and information society will hold an informal video conference on 14 October 2021 to discuss artificial intelligence, which is the top priority of the Slovenian Presidency in the area of digitalisation. The discussion will be led by Minister of Public Administration Boštjan Koritnik.

In a policy debate, the ministers will share their views on whether the proposed Artificial Intelligence Act is suitable to address the challenges we are facing in this area and assess the impact of the proposed Act, in particular in terms of the protection of fundamental human rights. The discussion will focus also on the evaluation of measures to support innovation.

In April 2021, the European Commission presented a proposal for the Artificial Intelligence Act and a joint action plan aimed at promoting the development and use of artificial intelligence. The aim of the act is to create a single market for AI, which will foster the rapid development and uptake of AI across the EU, while strictly respecting ethical standards and fundamental rights and freedoms.

The development and use of AI is an important source of economic growth and social welfare in the EU, with a significant impact on climate change and healthcare, as well as on sectors varying from financial services to agriculture and from industrial automation and mobility to education and public services. At the same time, certain features of AI pose specific and potentially substantial risks to our safety standards and fundamental rights. A strong legal framework already exists at the EU and member state level to ensure safety and protect fundamental rights, but the current legislation is neither targeted nor suitable to address the specific risks of AI.

The Slovenian Presidency's objective with regard to the draft Artificial Intelligence Act is to conclude at least one reading of the text by December 2021 and to formulate a first compromise proposal or prepare a progress report.

More information about the agenda and the outcome of this meeting is available on the website of the Council of the European Union.