John Naughton: The real test of an AI machine is when it can admit to not knowing something | John Naughton

Mark Zuckerberg and Brussels both have ideas on AI regulation, but it’s a Cambridge statistician who has produced something intelligible

On Wednesday the European Commission launched a blizzard of proposals and policy papers under the general umbrella of “shaping Europe’s digital future”. The documents released included: a report on the safety and liability implications of artificial intelligence, the internet of things and robotics; a paper outlining the EU’s strategy for data; and a white paper on “excellence and trust” in artificial intelligence. In their general tenor, the documents evoke the blend of technocracy, democratic piety and ambitiousness that is the hallmark of EU communications. That said, it is also the case that in terms of doing anything to get tech companies under some kind of control, the European Commission is the only game in town.

In a nice coincidence, the policy blitz came exactly 24 hours after Mark Zuckerberg, supreme leader of Facebook, accompanied by his bag-carrier – a guy called Nicholas Clegg who looked vaguely familiar – had called on the commission graciously to explain to its officials the correct way to regulate tech companies. The officials, in turn, thanked him and courteously explained that they had their own ideas, and escorted him back to his hot-air balloon.

It’s trustworthiness rather than trust we should be focusing on

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