EU AI Package Paves the Way for Innovation and Billions in Economic Growth

Brussels, 21 April 2021 – The European Commission today presented its proposal on the regulation of AI technologies. eco – Association of the Internet Industry welcomes the fact that Brussels is refraining from a blanket overregulation of artificial intelligence and is instead focusing on AI regulation for high-risk applications. These include, for example, the use of AI in vehicles and agricultural machinery, as well as biometrics and law enforcement.

The European Commission is thus enabling further innovation and development opportunities in the technology field, which, in Germany alone, could amount to a total potential of around 488 billion by 2025, according to the findings of a joint study by eco and Arthur D. Little, supported by the Vodafone Institute.

eco’s Chair of the Board Oliver Süme has the following to say:

“With its legislative proposal, the EU Commission has today laid an important foundation stone for the legally secure application of AI technologies. This makes artificial intelligence, an otherwise rather abstract field of technology, much more tangible, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises: AI is moving from the future to the present and will have a positive impact on our common good and almost all sectors of the economy. We need to seize these opportunities now, and not hold off until tomorrow.”

eco Study: All industries benefit from AI, especially Industry 4.0

The study published by the eco Association together with Arthur D. Little and with the support of the Vodafone Institute in 2019 confirms this leverage effect. If AI is used across the board in Germany, a growth in gross domestic product of over 13 percent is possible by 2025 (compared to 2019).

This corresponds to a total potential of around 488 billion Euro. About 70 per cent of this is accounted for by cost savings, and about 30 per cent by revenue potentials in all sectors. There are opportunities here especially for Industry 4.0: At just over 50 per cent (€182.5 billion), the greatest cost-saving potential lies in supporting manufacturing through AI.

Süme: High standards for AI use in biometrics are vital

At the same time, eco’s Chair emphasises that stricter regulations should apply to high-risk applications. As Süme states: “Above all, when it comes to the use of AI in biometrics, high standards must be applied which take the protection of personal rights adequately into account. High requirements and legal barriers are imperative to avert any sense that AI could be used for mass surveillance. In the parliamentary deliberations, care should be taken to ensure that this criterion continues to prevail. One way or another, the safeguards for the trustworthy deployment and acceptance of AI are now in place.”

EU AI Package Paves the Way for Innovation and Billions in Economic Growth

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