CEN and CENELEC participated to an International Conference on Shaping European AI Leadership

On Thursday, 10 March, AFNOR (the French Association for Standardization), together with BDVA and Confiance.AI, co-hosted the high-level ‘International Conference Shaping European AI leadership’ in the framework of the French presidency of the European Union. The event, to which participated a wide array of key players in the field of AI coming from standardization organisations, national and European public authorities and the industry, was an opportunity to discuss how voluntary standards can contribute to the development of confidence in Artificial Intelligence and in support of a future EU regulation on AI.

As part of the Conference, Elena Santiago Cid, Director General of CEN and CENELEC, moderated a roundtable on Regulation and Standardization challenges. The roundtable saw the participation of a high-level panel of speakers, coming from a varied background but all involved to some degree in AI standardization and regulation: Sophie Mueller, Head of Unit Standards Policy, DG GROW, European Commission; Mr Philippe Mareine, Gaia-X Board Member; Ms Julia Fenart, Head of European Affairs, France Digitale; and Mr Fabrice Tocco, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Dawex. The diversity of the panel allowed for an open and multifaceted discussion on the main challenges to AI standardization and regulation to be tackled in order to ensure European leadership in an international context.


In her introductory speech, Elena Santiago Cid remarked how standardization is a relevant tool to contribute to the uptake of AI in Europe and to provide compliance means to the upcoming regulation. Indeed, she reminded that AI is a priority for CEN and CENELEC: in their Strategy 2030, the two European standardization organisations commit to support the digital transition and develop standards fit for the digital era. This commitment is already evident in the activities of CEN-CLC/JTC 21 ‘Artificial Intelligence’, which produces standardization deliverables in the field of AI.


The panellists shared the conviction on the importance of standards as tools to foster the dissemination of new technologies and to ensure a safe and trustworthy AI ecosystem. They also showed their commitment to reflecting together on how to develop such a well-functioning standardization and regulatory framework, as it is key for it to be as inclusive as possible: in particular, it is important for SMEs and startups to be involved in standardization from early-on.


Another key aspect that was highlighted during the discussion was the importance of an effective articulation between national, European and international levels, to make sure that a global approach is maintained, while at the same time ensuring all relevant needs are taken into account.


The recording of the event will soon be available on AFNOR’s website.


Constant KOHLER


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