Over 80 international experts in artificial intelligence are gathering in Dublin from today, for a key European Standards Technical Committee.
Ireland’s official standards body, the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), is co-hosting the Joint Technical Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CEN-CENELEC JTC 21 Artificial Intelligence) on the 12th to the 14th of February, focused on developing standards in the area of Artificial Intelligence (AI). This will be the first plenary meeting of the European technical committee since provisional agreement was reached on the EU Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act) and coincides with a key vote by European Parliament committees on the Act this week.
Speaking ahead of the plenary meeting, the Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, Dara Calleary TD said, “This plenary meeting is coming at a pivotal time for the development of the EU AI Act. AI is a powerful and fast-evolving technology and has the potential to transform our societies and our global industries. Ireland firmly believes in the positive opportunities that AI presents, with the right guardrails. It is no coincidence that our National AI Strategy, which we adopted in 2021, is called “AI – Here for Good” the core pillars of which are centred around ethics, trust, and people. A huge part of building that trust is in standards. With the Act soon to enter into force, the AI industry is poised to enter a new era of regulation. Without doubt, standards are central to how Europe will roll out the EU AI Act, and the standards being developed by this meeting and in the coming months will be critical tools for Irish and European industry in achieving compliance with the new legislation.”
Expanding on the importance of standards development in tandem with the progression of the EU AI Act, NSAI CEO Geraldine Larkin said, “AI Standards play a pivotal role in the new European regulatory framework for AI, offering clarity to Irish industries and ensuring public confidence in compliance with the upcoming EU AI Act. NSAI and its experts from cross Irish industry, as Ireland’s national standards body, actively contributes to the European Technical Committee, supporting AI regulatory development in Ireland. We are pleased to co-host this plenary meeting to enable essential European-level discussions on new European AI standards. In addition, with colleagues at the SFI ADAPT Research Centre, will look forward to hosting a panel discussion between European and Irish AI experts.”
The plenary sessions in Dublin, taking place at Microsoft Ireland’s offices in Leopardstown, will focus on a variety of issues impacting the standardisation of AI. Speaking ahead of the event, Anne Sheehan, General Manager, Microsoft Ireland emphasised, “We are delighted to be co-hosting this plenary session with the NSAI. By working together, experts in AI from industry to academia, policy making to standards development can ensure that the resulting standards in fast-moving areas such as AI are firmly rooted in both safety and innovation. This plenary session is being held at a critical time in the advancement of the European and global outlook on artificial intelligence and we value the opportunity to facilitate these critical discussions at One Microsoft Place in Dublin.”
In conjunction with the plenary, NSAI will also be co-hosting a panel discussion with the SFI ADAPT centre on the topic of “Shaping the future through AI Standards” at which Minister Calleary will be delivering the opening address.This event will provide a valuable opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the importance of standards in AI and their role in shaping our future. Speakers will explore the critical importance of international standards in AI from a variety of perspectives, highlighting how they influence industry innovation, shape governmental policies, and redefine best practices in the field.
Commenting ahead of the panel discussion, Professor Dave Lewis, interim director of the SFI ADAPT Centre said: “This meeting will advance European consensus on the technical standards that play a critical role in the future success of the EU’s AI Act. ADAPT is an active contributor to AI standards development at international and European level through the NSAI and its participation in ISO-IEC and CEN-CENELEC joint technical committees. These discussions are coming at a pivotal time for the development of rules of governance for AI across the world. Through its standards contributions and research, ADAPT is committed to advancing transparency, accountability, and societal stakeholder engagement in the ethical aspects of AI governance.”
The panel discussion, which takes place in Trinity Business School this evening, will feature contributions from European AI standardisation experts, government, industry, and leading researchers that aims to bridge the gap between policymaking and technological advancements, offering a unique perspective on how AI standards are being interpreted and integrated at the highest levels of governance and practice. There will also be a practical demonstration from the cutting-edge research currently underway at the SFI ADAPT Centre. This demonstration highlights how theoretical standards are being applied in real-world scenarios, driving forward the advancement of AI technologies.
Further information about the work of NSAI in developing standards can be found at NSAI.ie/standards.