“Breaking Barriers: An Inside Look into EU AI Act Advisor and European Parliament Member, Eva Maydell”

Eva Maydell is a Bulgarian politician and a member of European Parliament. Eva Maydell, member of European ParliamentBriefly, how did you get your start in AI? When I first became a member of the European Parliament, I was one of the few young female members of European Parliament (MEPs) that worked on tech issues. The more women keep sharing their ideas, visions and voice, the more they will inspire other women to step into the world of tech. The greatest challenge for any politician working on tech and AI is trying to regulate and prepare for the future with accuracy.

To give AI-focused women academics and others their well-deserved — and overdue — time in the spotlight, TechCrunch is launching a series of interviews focusing on remarkable women who’ve contributed to the AI revolution. We’ll publish several pieces throughout the year as the AI boom continues, highlighting key work that often goes unrecognized. Read more profiles here.

Eva Maydell, member of European Parliament

Eva Maydell is a Bulgarian politician and a member of European Parliament. First elected to Parliament in 2014 at age 28, she was the youngest member serving at the time. In 2019, Maydell was re-elected to Parliament, where she continues to serve on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE).

Maydell was the ITRE rapporteur for the EU AI Act, the proposed legal framework to govern the sale and use of AI in the European Union, and as such was in charge of drafting a report on the proposal of the European Commission — reflecting the opinion of ITRE members. Maydell — in consultation with outside experts and stakeholders — was also responsible for drafting compromise amendments.

Eva Maydell on her start in AI:

When I first became a member of the European Parliament, I was one of the few young female members of European Parliament (MEPs) that worked on tech issues. I’ve always been passionate about how Europe can better leverage the huge opportunities of tech innovation. The great thing about working on tech is that you’re always looking to the future. Having worked on cybersecurity, semiconductors and the digital agenda throughout my time in the Parliament, I knew I would find working on the AI Act incredibly interesting and be able to utilise my experience in those areas on this world first piece of regulation.

Eva Maydell on her proudest work in the AI field:

I’m proud of the work we’ve done on the AI Act. We have laid out a common European vision for the future of this technology — one in which AI is more democratic, safe and innovative. Regulators and Parliaments naturally think about how to protect and prepare for worst-case scenarios and the risks; but I also pushed hard for competitiveness to be at the heart of this conversation. This included championing a research and open source exemption, an ambitious approach to regulatory sandboxes and aligning our work with our international partners as much as possible to reduce market frictions.

Eva Maydell on navigating the male-dominated tech and AI industries:

We’re slowly but surely seeing more women in tech and AI. I have female colleagues and friends that work in tech who are incredibly talented and really driving the tech agenda. It’s great that we have that network to support each other. I have also found that I have been embraced by the AI community and it’s what makes working on this issue so interesting and enjoyable.

Advice from Eva Maydell for women entering the AI field:

Just go for it! Be yourself, don’t think you have to stick to the mould or be like other people. Everyone has something unique to offer. The more women keep sharing their ideas, visions and voice, the more they will inspire other women to step into the world of tech. Whenever I speak with student groups, or young MEPs, it’s wonderful to see so many women interested in entering this field — you can feel the change taking place.

The pressing issues facing AI as it evolves, according to Eva Maydell:

  1. How can this technology make our economies more competitive while ensuring wider social benefit?
  2. How do we stop AI fuelling disinformation?
  3. How do we set international rules to ensure AI is developed and utilized according to democratic standards?

Issues AI users should be aware of, as highlighted by Eva Maydell:

The very serious challenge posed by AI as a vehicle to accelerate the spread of disinformation and deepfakes. This is particularly important this year, given 50% of the world will go to the polls to vote. We all need to use a critical eye on the images, videos and news articles we see. As the technology improves, we need to become more vigilant to being manipulated. This is an issue I’m working on extensively right now.

Eva Maydell’s thoughts on building AI responsibly:

If we want a future in which AI improves our lives and helps solve our most pressing challenges, then there’s one key ingredient: trust. We need trust in these technologies.

We can’t afford to rest on our laurels. The AI Act doesn’t mean we’re “one and done.” We need to keep asking ourselves what’s next — and that doesn’t necessarily mean more regulation. But it does mean keeping a constant eye on the big picture — how AI and the regulation is affecting our economy, security and lives.

Eva Maydell’s advice on how investors can promote responsible AI:

Investing in AI or any innovative technology is no different to investing in any other product. Business, banks and corporations are aware of the fact that there are significant financial merits on being a positive force in the world around us. Ultimately, scaling AI in a responsible way is more likely to sustain success, reduce financial risks and failures, and therefore, create consumer and market confidence.

Avatar photo
Max Chen

Max Chen is an AI expert and journalist with a focus on the ethical and societal implications of emerging technologies. He has a background in computer science and is known for his clear and concise writing on complex technical topics. He has also written extensively on the potential risks and benefits of AI, and is a frequent speaker on the subject at industry conferences and events.

Articles: 832

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *