A large union is concerned that the Legault government’s mandate to “set the table” in the coming months for a legislative framework on artificial intelligence (AI) has only been entrusted to “a single body”, the Conseil of Quebec Innovation (CIQ).

“[We] wonder about the relevance of concentrating the organization of a broad citizen reflection in the hands of a single organization focused on innovation,” the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) reacted on Saturday. , which represents nearly 135,000 workers in Quebec.

CUPE is particularly concerned “that those with deep expertise in the impact of AI on employment and personal information – the Commission de l’éthique en sciences et en technologie (CEST) and the Commission access to information – are not involved” in the process.

Moreover, the union notes that the CEST had submitted in 2021 “an opinion to the Government of Quebec about the impacts of this technology on work and social justice”, worrying that AI “could lead to the disappearance of ‘part of the jobs and the transformation of a multitude of others’.

Earlier this week, on Wednesday, the Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Pierre Fitzgibbon, had confirmed that he would return to the Conseil de l’innovation du Québec, led by its director general Luc Sirois, to “set the table” and build the premises for a possible legislative framework for artificial intelligence.

The announcement was made during a press conference at the offices of Mila – Quebec Institute of Artificial Intelligence, which obtained a renewal of financial support from Quebec, up to 7 million per year by 2025.

“The development of responsible AI is essential to ensure its acceptability and its integration in business,” said the minister. Through our funding at Mila, we support applied research initiatives that allow Quebec to remain a leader in this field. »

On Saturday, La Presse reported that after calling for a six-month pause in artificial intelligence (AI) research two weeks ago, Mila founder Yoshua Bengio is now urging Canadian lawmakers to assume their responsibilities by adopting, as soon as possible, Bill C-27, which aims to regulate the development of this technology with multiple possibilities.

The study of this bill has made little progress since its introduction in the House of Commons by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, almost a year ago. However, according to Mr. Bengio, “there is a certain urgency to act”.