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A new survey amongst Swedish and Finnish EU-candidates show: A vast majority wants to regulate the use of artificial intelligence

21 May 2019

The development of artificial intelligence (AI) will have a great impact on our daily life, and candidates to the EU parliament believe it to be very important for EU’s competitiveness – but see that the use of the technology needs to be regulated. They are also worried that the US and China will take the lead and define what transparency and ethics will mean in the AI world. All this was revealed in a study Tieto conducted amongst the top candidates for EU Parliament in Sweden and Finland.

The study was conducted in the beginning of May, and it shows that 70 percent of the candidates are worried that AI systems are unethical and biased and 76 percent doubt that the systems will be transparent and ethical when presenting decisions based on algorithms. Half (49 percent) of the candidates think the IT industry takes too little responsibility to inform people about opportunities and challenges with AI.

– AI will have a big impact on the society, companies, our health and our finances, and it can contribute to remarkable renewal both from citizens and society’s perspective. Therefore it is essential to let the innovations emerge and market evolve. As the use of the technology is evolving faster than regulation, it is important for companies take an active role and be transparent in this field. That is why we at Tieto have published principles for ethical use of AI and are actively participating in the work already being done within the EU to include all aspects of ethical use and development of AI, says Kia Haring, Global Head of Public Affairs, Tieto.

91 percent of candidates are in favour of regulations on how transparent AI-made decision must be. Additionally, 78 percent are worried that superpowers such as China and the US will set the boundaries for transparency and ethics within AI.

Asked about their own and the general publics’ level of knowledge 78 percent of the candidates say that they have enough knowledge to take decisions on regulating AI. However, only 9 percent think the general public is aware and confident in how AI may affect their lives. 35 percent of the respondents think the general public is unaware of how AI may affect their lives.

More conclusions from the study:

  • Finnish parliamentarians are more worried about China and US domination than Swedish. 90 percent of the Finnish respondents are somewhat or to a large extent, worried that superpowers such as the US and China will set the boundaries for transparency and ethics within AI. On the same questions only, 57 percent of Swedish respondents are somewhat or very worried.
  • All Finnish respondents say that the development of AI is very important for the competitiveness of the EU. Only 50 percent of the Swedish respondents agree to the same statement.

About the study
The survey was sent to all parties’ top candidates at the beginning of May 2019 (60 for each country) for the EU Parliament election in May 2019 as well as the political parties central offices. There were 30 responses from Finnish candidates and 16 responses from Swedish candidates when the survey was closed.

About Tieto’s efforts in this area
Following the “Ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI” that was published by EU in April, Tieto’s AI Center of Excellence, led by Christian Guttmann, is contributing to the development of EU’s guidelines.
Read more about Tieto’s guidelines for ethical use of AI that was announced last autumn.

For more information, please contact:
Tieto Newsdesk, news@tieto.com, +358 40 570 40 72

About Tieto
Tieto aims to capture the significant opportunities of the data-driven world and turn them into lifelong value for people, business and society. We aim to be customers’ first choice for business renewal by combining our software and services capabilities with a strong drive for co-innovation and ecosystems. www.tieto.com

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