Audi CDO und CSO Villinger im Europäischen Parlament

European AI

AI and ethics: Audi at AI4People with the beyond initiative

Encouraging the ethical use of AI in Europe: Audi joins the conversation at the AI4People forum with the beyond initiative. Audi CDO Roland Villinger joined many leading Europeans at the initial summit in the European Parliament. Blog author Lisa Niermann was there with them.

Villiger und Florida auf dem Weg zum Summit
In the center of Europe: Audi CDO and CSO Roland Villinger (on the left) and Oxford professor Luciano Floridi (second from left) on the way to the "Towards a Good AI Society Summit".

It is shortly after 12:00 p.m. at Place du Luxembourg. Here, directly in front of the European Parliament in Brussels, is where the heart of Europe can be found. Oxford professor Luciano Floridi and Audi CDO Roland Villinger are on their way to the future. They are joining leading representatives from universities, businesses, EU institutions, and civilorganizations at the summit “Towards a Good AI Society” to discuss the question of how artificial intelligence can be implemented in such a way that it pushes humanity forward. Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, is also attending the summit.

The European approach

“We need a European approach to artificial intelligence that combines innovation with our values,” said Roland Villinger, Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) and Chief Digital Officer (CDO) of AUDI AG at the sidelines of the summit. At AI4People, Audi is contributing its expertise from the beyond initiative. In the context of beyond, the automobile manufacturer has built up an interdisciplinary network of international AI experts from the fields of science and business over the course of the last three years.

Luciano Floridi, director of the Digital Ethics Lab and founder of AI4People, is also a member of the beyond network. His initiative AI4People is the first global forum for the ethical use of artificial intelligence in Europe. Floridi initially established the contact between Audi and AI4People. “It’s not merely about the question of what is legally acceptable, but really about what is ethically preferable,” he says.

At the summit, Floridi presented a 20-point plan for the ethical use of AI. One of the areas of focus was the coordination of European AI research and the need to increase awareness of questions surrounding the responsible use of new technologies in the minds of the public.

Villinger im Gespräch mit Floridi

Audi CDO and CSO Roland Villinger talks to Luciano Floridi at the summit in Brussels.

A network of AI experts

Audi has been encouraging public discussion on artificial intelligence with the beyond initiative since 2015. The discussioninvolves the ethical, legal, and social aspects of autonomous driving and the working world of the future. At beyond, philosophers and psychologists come together with software engineers, entrepreneurs, and legal experts.

Fittingly, Audi is now joining in as a founding member of AI4People. “One of the main points that I’ve taken away from the 20-point plan is the idea of a European narrative for the future of the working world in the age of AI,” says Barbara Wege, project lead at the beyond initiative. “This type of narrative helps people to see the transition as an opportunity.” Meeting with representatives from leading companies and EU institutions in the summit’s working sessions, Wege discussed, among other things, the question of how to qualify people to work with AI. There’s already a real-world example of how this qualification could work: in cooperation with the online learning platform Udacity, Audi employees can complete a continuing education course on the subject of machine learning that combines online study with in-person classes.

Floridi diskutiert nächste Schritte zu KI mit Barbara Wege
For a society in which AI advances people: Luciano Floridi, Director of the Digital Ethic Lab at the University of Oxford, discusses next steps with Barbara Wege, project lead of the beyond initiative.

AI by people, for people

During the discussions in Brussels, one thing became abundantly clear: artificial intelligence is not only created by people — it is createdfor people, too. This is the approach that the AI4People will take as it enters its next phase. It plans to appoint a committee that will advise political decision-makersregarding the use of AI.

AI in Europe was only under discussion for two days at Place du Luxembourg. But this summit has shown that, in the future, the debate will not only take place in the heart of Europe, but in businesses, political parties, and universities as well.

Revolutionary AI

In line with the motto “Towards A Good AI Society”, the initiative AI4People created the summit in Brussels to discuss how AI can be used responsibly. Aside from the beyond initiative by Audi, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair took part in the summit.

Working towards a European narrative for the future of work life: Barbara Wege, project lead beyond Initiative (fourth from the left) exchanges her ideas with representatives from leading companies and EU institutions in the European Parliament.
Talks with a famous European: Audi CDO and CSO Roland Villinger (on the right) meets former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Working towards a European approach for a responsible use of AI: the Audi CDO and CSO at the

Working towards a European narrative for the future of work life: Barbara Wege, project lead beyond Initiative (fourth from the left) exchanges her ideas with representatives from leading companies and EU institutions in the European Parliament.

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Talks with a famous European: Audi CDO and CSO Roland Villinger (on the right) meets former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

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Working towards a European approach for a responsible use of AI: the Audi CDO and CSO at the "Towards A Good AI Society Summit“ at the European Parliament in Brussels.

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Audi and beyond initiative speak out  for responsible use of AI at global forum
Audi MediaCenter

Audi and beyond initiative speak out for responsible use of AI at global forum

A society in which artificial intelligence benefits people and society: To those ends, Audi is involved in AI4People, the first global forum for an ethical approach to AI in Europe. At the “Towards a Good AI Society Summit” at the European Parliament in Brussels, the forum presented a 20-point plan for a responsible AI society. One of the focuses was on coordinating European AI research and establishing issues of the responsible use of new technologies more firmly in the minds of developers, legislators and the general public. “We need a European approach to artificial intelligence that combines innovation with our v...

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