27. October 2021 – The TÜV Association has called on the parties involved in the coalition negotiations to include the establishment of interdisciplinary testing and quality centres for artificial intelligence (AI) in their digital strategy and to support them financially. In the "AI Quality & Testing Hubs" initiated by the TÜV Association and VDE, AI providers, research institutions, start-ups and testing organisations could work together on norms, standards and quality criteria for AI and develop new testing and inspection procedures. They can also train specialists, implement research projects and support SMEs in the implementation of the upcoming AI regulation. "Artificial intelligence can only develop its full potential if it is safe and trustworthy," said Dr Joachim Bühler, CEO of the TÜV Association, at the "TÜV AI Conference". "We need AI regulation in the EU that sets technical standards worldwide and represents our European values. Otherwise, countries like the US and China will set the standards." For a complex technology like artificial intelligence, it is not enough to formulate legal texts. Bühler: "At the same time, we have to advance the practical implementation of AI regulation." The AI Quality & Testing Hubs are a suitable instrument for this.
The federal states of Berlin, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia have already started concrete activities to implement the "AI Quality & Testing Hubs" in their states or to support them with funding projects. For example, Hesse's digital minister has already launched a pilot project together with the VDE to set up a hub. In the federal states, there are already numerous players involved in the development of products and applications with artificial intelligence who can contribute to the AI hubs. "The 'traffic light' coalition has the opportunity to set a clear focus on AI quality and security 'Made in Europe' in a new AI strategy," said Bühler. Complementing the activities of the federal states, AI quality and test centres should be included in the new government's foreign trade policy agenda to strengthen Germany and Europe in international AI competition. With the AI test centres, technical and legal experiment spaces could be created to safely develop innovations in a protected space.
The overarching goal of the AI Quality & Testing Hubs is to lay the foundations for high-quality AI applications that are technically safe and ethically unobjectionable. The technology is increasingly being used in safety-critical areas or touches on fundamental civil rights. This applies to automated vehicles or the analysis of MRI images for cancer detection just as much as to AI applications for personnel selection or for rating the creditworthiness of consumers. For these and many other products and applications with artificial intelligence, clear legal regulations are necessary in the view of the TÜV Association. The EU Commission presented the first draft for the regulation of artificial intelligence in April 2021.