ETSI conference highlights necessity for AI standards

Sophia Antipolis, France

The ETSI Artificial Intelligence (AI) Conference has according to its organisers, emphasised the importance of AI standardisation as a key enabler for digital transformation.

Held at ETSI’s Sophia Antipolis headquarters from 5-7 February, the event welcomed close to 200 participants from 25+ countries, with featured speakers including AI experts from government agencies, standards bodies, academia and industry.

Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) technologies are enabling disruptive new applications across a wide range of digital products and services. Reviewing the current status of AI developments worldwide, the Conference explored the role of standardisation in ETSI and other SDOs to support the development of a robust market for safe, lawful AI applications and services within the framework of European policymaking.

Several world regions are currently drafting legislation that will impact the deployment of Artificial Intelligence. In the context of Europe’s draft AI Act, the EU has stated its intent to facilitate development of a single market for ‘lawful, safe and trustworthy’ AI applications, and to ensure that AI systems placed on the market ‘respect existing law on fundamental rights and Union values’.

“AI/ML is already having a transformative effect in sectors ranging from finance and manufacturing to telecommunications and transportation” comments Markus Mueck, ETSI Board Chair and Chair of ETSI’s Operational Co-ordination Group on AI (OCG AI). “In this rapidly evolving field, it’s critical that standardization efforts by ETSI and other SDOs are supportive to the timely implementation of AI regulation that benefits the global market for AI. As an official European Standardization Organization (ESO), ETSI is offering a variety of standards and has more in the pipeline for the implementation of the European AI Act”.

Artificial Intelligence will impact on almost every aspect of future ICT systems. ETSI is accordingly implementing a distributed approach to standardisation activities relevant to AI, with 14 Technical Committees (TC) and Industry Specification Groups (ISG) within ETSI currently working on AI-related topics.


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