The European AI policy on border protectionMigration 26 February 2023
Estimated time of reading: ~ 3 minutes
Artificial intelligence has emerged as a potential tool for managing the flow of illegal migration into the European Union (EU) from Asia and Africa. Illegal migration poses significant challenges to the EU, including the potential for social and economic disruption and the endangerment of EU cohesion. As a result, the EU has been exploring the use of AI to better manage illegal migration and protect its borders.
One of the primary challenges that the EU faces in managing illegal migration is the sheer volume of people who attempt to cross its borders. In recent years, the number of migrants attempting to enter the EU has increased dramatically, with many coming from countries in Asia and Africa. This influx of migrants has put a strain on the resources of EU member states and has raised concerns about social and economic disruption.
To address these concerns, the EU has been exploring the use of AI to better manage its borders and monitor the flow of illegal migration. In July 2021, the EU Parliament has published a report titled Artificial intelligence at EU borders. It envisages what does the EU use to protect its borders through the usage of the AI. Some options are automated biometric systems, fingerprint identification, face recognition, emotion detection, algorithmic profiling, and many others. The EU Parliament is concerned however when it comes to breach of privacy of data, as well as ethics such as bias and discrimination, the risk of unlawful profiling and the transparency of procurement of the equipment from specific vendors.
AI has the potential to improve border security by providing more accurate and timely information about potential threats, allowing EU member states to respond more quickly and effectively. One of the primary applications of AI in managing illegal migration is in the development of predictive analytics. Predictive analytics uses machine learning algorithms to analyze data and identify patterns that can be used to predict future events. In the context of illegal migration, predictive analytics can be used to identify potential migration routes, anticipate spikes in migration, and identify areas where border security may be vulnerable.
Another application of AI in managing illegal migration is in the development of facial recognition technology. Facial recognition technology uses AI algorithms to analyze images of individuals and match them to databases of known individuals. This technology can be used to identify individuals who are attempting to enter the EU illegally, as well as to track the movements of known individuals who may be involved in illegal migration. While the use of AI in managing illegal migration has the potential to improve border security and protect EU cohesion, it also raises significant ethical concerns. One of the primary concerns is the potential for discrimination and bias in the development and deployment of AI technologies.
There is a risk that AI systems could perpetuate existing biases and inequalities, particularly if they are trained on biased datasets. To address these concerns, the EU has taken steps to ensure that AI technologies are developed and deployed in an ethical and responsible manner. In April 2022, the European Commission released a proposal for a new regulation on AI, which aims to ensure that AI technologies are developed and used in a way that is transparent, accountable, and respects fundamental rights. The proposal includes a ban on AI technologies that are used to manipulate individuals or groups, as well as strict requirements for the testing and certification of high-risk AI systems.
Written by: Nenad Stekić