eco on the Final Report of the German Artificial Intelligence Study Commission: Regulation with a Sense of Proportion and Focus on Opportunities

On the occasion of the final report of the “Artificial Intelligence” Study Commission appointed in June 2018 – which was presented today to the Bundestag – Oliver Süme, Chair of the eco Association, urges legislators not to approach the future-oriented topic of AI with a mere focus on possible risks, and not to hinder the development of innovative technologies based on artificial intelligence by excessively strict up-front regulations.

“Services and applications based on artificial intelligence hold great potential for the common good and for the economy. However, we must now seize these opportunities offered by technological progress in a very practical way. Otherwise as a digital and AI location, Germany is in danger of losing out to competitors from Asia and the USA,” says Süme.

The development of a technological model based on fundamental ethical values is essential. However, these principles should be developed through close cooperation between politics, industry, academia and civil society, and should not make innovative approaches impossible from the outset, Süme continues.

A joint study published at the end of last year by the eco Association and Arthur D. Little, supported by the Vodafone Institute, shows the potential that artificial intelligence could have for the economy in Germany alone. If AI is used nationwide, it is possible that the gross domestic product will grow by more than 13 percent by 2025, which corresponds to a total potential of around 488 billion Euro.

eco formulates 5 core messages on artificial intelligence

eco is highly conscious of the responsibility of the Internet industry in the course of advancing digitalisation and regards the development of proposals that protect consumers and at the same time do not endanger innovative business models as an important task. In order to actively accompany the political discussion on AI and to place it in the context of current technological developments, eco has therefore formulated the following 5 guidelines for the further handling of artificial intelligence for politicians:

  • Make the societal and economic value of data usable
  • Concretise application and utilisation scenarios for artificial intelligence
  • Reliable & appropriate AI applications increase trust and promote acceptance by society
  • Acceptance must be promoted through transparency
  • The legal framework needs to be examined and carefully developed



eco on Planned Reform of the German Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG): “Social networks confronted anew with great legal uncertainty”