On Monday, the European Commission released a set of steps to maintain ethics in artificial intelligence, as companies and governments weigh both the benefits and risks of the far-reaching technology.
"The ethical dimension of AI is not a luxury feature or an add-on," said Andrus Ansip, EU vice-president for the digital single market, in a press release Monday. "It is only with trust that our society can fully benefit from technologies."
The EU defines artificial intelligence as systems that show "intelligent behavior," allowing them to analyze their environment and perform tasks with some degree of autonomy. AI is already transforming businesses in a variety of functions, like automating repetitive tasks and analyzing troves of data. But the technology raises a series of ethical questions, such as how to ensure algorithms are programmed without bias and how to hold AI accountable if something goes wrong.