The citizen’s panel on AI issues its report

Belgian presidency of the European Union: “Randomly select 60 citizens from all four corners of Belgium. Give them an exciting topic to explore. Add a few local players. Season with participation experts. Bake for three weekends at the Egmont Palace conference centre. And you’ll end up with the rich and ambitious views of citizens on the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in the European Union.

This is the recipe that has been in progress since February 2024, led by the Belgian presidency of the European Union, with the ambition of involving citizens in this strategic field and enriching the debate on AI, which has been particularly lively in recent months as part of the drafting of the AI Act recently adopted by the European Parliament.

And the initiative really cut the mustard, as the 60 citizens worked enthusiastically, overcoming their apprehensions about a subject as complex as AI. In a spirit of collective intelligence, they dove right into the subject, listening to speakers from academia, government, civil society and the private sector, and sharing their experiences and knowledge. Some of them were just discovering AI, while others were already using it. They turned this diversity into a richness, enabling them to write a report on citizens’ views that reflects the various aspirations of the Belgian population.

At the end of the three weekends, the citizens almost unanimously adopted a precise and ambitious report containing nine key messages focusing on the need for a responsible, ambitious and beneficial approach to AI, ensuring that it serves the interests of all and leaves no one behind…(More)”

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