On March 7th, 2022, the Center for a New American Security held a workshop on Transatlantic Artificial Intelligence, which gathered together senior researchers, PhD candidates, NGO members, Institutional representatives and AI professionals from both sides of the Atlantic to discuss the future of Euro-American relationships as regards AI-related matters.
The discussion centred around EU and US priorities regarding AI regulation. Some speakers claimed that there were important areas of convergence between the EU and the US. In particular these stakeholders claimed that both the EU and the US relied on a value-based AI regulation. In other words, they promote trustworthy and human-centric AI that is based on human rights and privacy. They share a vision of AI which is very different from that adopted by China which is a major stakeholder in the global Artificial Intelligence market.
However, the keynote speakers also underlined that there remain many areas of divergence between the US and the EU when it comes to their respective views on AI regulation. In particular, they highlighted the fact that the US approach to AI is more focused on military applications and national security. This does not mean that European states do not have their own plans for these sectors in terms of AI, but it is a less prominent issue for them. In addition, the US are more sensitive to the risks posed by technology transfers than their European partners. Furthermore, the same speakers claimed that there is a reluctance on the part of the US, for cultural reasons, to pre-emptively regulate the technology and to take the risk of undermining innovation.
Other topics that were covered include the dual-use nature of some AI applications and the different approaches to exports adopted by the US and the EU. Some speakers highlighted the geopolitical implications of the economic competition around AI products. They underlined that while in the US this competition is mainly considered to be a US vs China phenomenon, the EU does not consider it to be a binary competition. On the contrary, the EU considers the AI market to be more of a competition between the US, China and the EU. From this perspective the US appears to be both a partner and a competitor for European countries.
Many other topics were discussed, including but not limited to AI European sovereignty, cooperation with the Global South (South Africa, India) as regards artificial intelligence, and the transfer of sensitive technology.
In conclusion, this event was paramount in terms of pointing the way forward for transatlantic cooperation as regards Artificial Intelligence, and highlighting the hurdles that may need to be overcome in order to share a common view on AI.