author photo
By Clare O’Gara
Fri | Feb 28, 2020 | 6:15 AM PST

In the world of children's toys, human oversight is vital.

Products have to get evaluated and regulated before they reach store shelves. And if something goes wrong, toys will get recalled.

Of course, human oversight is important for many other products, too. But should complicated technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) be joining that list?

That's exactly what a recent European Union (EU) commission proposed.

How does the EU want to treat AI?

To the EU, maintaining a human-centric focus is key.

Its purpose? Reshaping Europe's digital future around three main goals:

  1. Technology that works for people
  2. A fair and competitive economy
  3. An open, democratic and sustainable society

A major pillar of this mission is the EU's work with AI, and the EU is sure to distinguish between low-risk and high-risk systems.

For low-risk cases, the commission anticipates a voluntary labeling scheme. The high-risk cases are treated differently:

For high-risk cases, such as in health, policing, or transport, AI systems should be transparent, traceable and guarantee human oversight. Authorities should be able to test and certify the data used by algorithms as they check cosmetics, cars or toys. Unbiased data is needed to train high-risk systems to perform properly, and to ensure respect of fundamental rights, in particular non-discrimination.

Just like a toy car or a new lipstick, the EU wants to handle AI with a human-focused regulatory system.

How the European Commission is tackling facial recognition

But shaping the future of the EU with AI was just one goal of the European Commission.

It's also doing important work to manage the boundaries of facial recognition technology:

"While today, the use of facial recognition for remote biometric identification is generally prohibited and can only be used in exceptional, duly justified and proportionate cases, subject to safeguards and based of EU or national law, the Commission wants to launch a broad debate about which circumstances, if any, might justify such exceptions."

For more information on the European Commission's initiative, check it out here.