The Dutch Research Council (NWO) and the AI coalition have launched five ELSA - Ethical, Legal and Societal Aspects - labs that aim to foster collaboration between public and private parties in creating human-centric AI solutions. These labs are designed for the sectors (national) security, public safety, media, nutrition, and health, and have been awarded with a total grant of €10.9 million for the first 5 to 6 years.
ELSA labs aim to strike a balance between creating effective AI systems and protecting the rights of individuals. "While data science or computer science research often focuses on the effectiveness and usability of the AI system, in legal frameworks the human rights of citizens are central, such as privacy or non-discrimination. To also include the mutual shaping of AI and social impacts, responsible AI development would benefit from taking a ‘public value’ perspective next to a ‘human value’ perspective... In this context it is important to take a broader perspective and define AI-driven systems broadly, taking into account not only possibilities for value-sensitive technology design, but also ways of implementing the technology into societal contexts and institutions, which are in themselves complex." 1
Though initially, the labs were mainly for the Dutch setting, they are gaining attention internationally, so the labs will soon start incorporating European players, laying the foundation for a European ecosystem.
For more information, read the position paper.