Members of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy adopted on January 14 a report on artificial intelligence and robotics that promotes the role of technologies and calls on the European Union’s members to develop new training programmes that boost the professional skills of workers.

Though the report still has to be backed by the plenary of the European Parliament, which is scheduled for February, the document gives the green light to a next legislature to press the European Commission to put AI and robotics within a clear legislative framework.

The report, which was supported by 49 of the committee members, underlines the growing role of the AI and robotics in a number of sectors, including in transport, health and manufacturing, and stresses the need for regulation to increase accountability and transparency when it comes to furthering the development of AI.

“I am pleased that we have been able to make some strong suggestions on AI. The technology is not confined to the boundaries of the single market and it is imperative that the EU work at the international level in order to agree on standards,” Ashley Fox, an MEP and rapporteur said.

The legislative regulation of AI and robotics is of strategic importance since the Commission announced in 2018 that it has increased annual investments in AI by 70 % under Horizon 2020 programme, reaching €1.5 billion for the overall budget.

A high-level expert commission on AI, comprised of 52 representatives from academia, civil society, and industry is expected to table its recommendation concerning the strengthening of the EU’s competitiveness in May.