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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become an area of strategic importance for the European Union (EU). The technology of AI, as part of the wider digitalisation process that Europe is going through, is mentioned as a  priority in Ursula von der Leyen’s political guidelines for the next European Commission 2019-2024. Already in 2018, the Board of Equinet noted the lack of any European study on the benefits and risks to the principle of equality caused by AI from the perspective of equality bodies. As a consequence, Equinet commissioned a study on the consequences of digitalisation for (in)equality and the role national equality bodies can play in this field. The Report: “Regulating for an Equal AI: A New Role for Equality Bodies” fills this crucial gap and aims to trigger discussions across Europe on the effect that new AI-enabled technologies may have on the principle of equality.

By looking at the uses of AI, algorithms, machine learning (ML), and automated decision-making (ADM), the report shows that equality should be a central consideration in any approach on the human and ethical implications of AI. Equality bodies have a vital role to play in securing the benefits of AI, however, national authorities need to provide them with adequate and meaningful powers as well as secure and sufficient resources.

Equality bodies, through their various competences, possess a unique insight into the state of equality and discrimination, that can be of utmost importance in the development, monitoring and impact assessment of algorithmic systems. National and European authorities therefore need to enable the full involvement of equality bodies in national and European expert bodies working on new strategies and legislation for AI. As such, equality bodies should also be a first point of reference about AI systems and their impact on equality and non-discrimination for all actors and stakeholders involved.  

This website shares information about the work of equality bodies and Equinet on AI, including publications, as well as relevant material about AI systems and their impact on equality and non-discrimination.