Yesterday saw the launch of guidelines from the European Commission’s Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI), which give welcome focus on the of role ethics  in the development of trustworthy AI.

Getting the ethical approach to AI right will support the long-term success of AI in Europe.  The Expert Group’s guidelines help achieve this during a period of rapid development of AI technology and set out several requirements for achieving trustworthy AI, including:

  • Human agency and oversight and respect for human autonomy
  • Technical robustness and safety 
  • Privacy and data governance 
  • Transparency 
  • Non-discrimination, and fairness 
  • Accountability
  • Inclusion and accessibility

The EU has set a clear ambition to be a global leader in ethical AI and the guidelines set out are a first and significant play in showing the important role of collaboration between policy makers, industry, researchers and others in helping deliver that.

We believe these guidelines are an important step towards creating AI technologies that people and businesses can trust and hope they prove a useful foundation for continuing to develop and utilise AI and Machine Learning (ML) to help solve society’s challenges and improve people’s lives.

At Cisco, we have been using AI and ML to tackle challenges for our customers such as cyber-attacks, to make networks more intuitive and to make collaboration more effective. We are determined to develop AI and ML ethically and take our responsibilities here seriously.  We will continue to do so as we further work on these technologies during 2019 and beyond.

There will be many more factors that will prove key to successful AI and ML deployments, not least having the right digital infrastructure in place to rapidly process vast amounts of data in a reliable, respectful and secure way.  Cisco will be at the heart of delivering this. Furthermore, investing effectively in AI R&D and innovation programmes and having people with the right skills to develop, deploy and use AI will also be central to developing trust in the technology.  At Cisco, we will continue to develop relevant skills programmes in these areas around the world through the Cisco Networking Academy, as well as through targeted partnership with universities and many other organisations.

We are looking forward to seeing how the Expert Group’s guidelines are used by industry and researchers, and how they contribute to the development of trustworthy AI in Europe and across the world.



Matt Houlihan

Public Policy Director

Government Affairs