VoteWatch Analytical Tool: uncover which MEPs can help you advance your agenda. Part 6.1.1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

This report is part of the new VoteWatch series showing you how to build your strategy using our new analytical tool (which is explained in-depth here) and which allows you to quickly identify kingmakers and swing-voters among MEPs. This tool is already been used by key stakeholders active in EU policy-making.

We show the positions of each MEP on key parts of the EU push towards more regulation on Artificial Intelligence and highlight which MEPs are convinced (on either side), and which remain to be brought on board to secure majorities.

Check out similar analyses on other policy areas (e.g. climate, taxation, etc.) here.

Full list of matrices covered in this report:

Use this analytical tool to spot:

a) how influential MEPs are in a given policy area (vertical axis).

b) in which direction each MEP is pulling EU legislation (horizontal axis).

1. Social media analysis: influence on social media and Parliamentary activities related to Artificial Intelligence (AI)

VoteWatch is implementing a new upgrade to its analytical capabilities: we are now able to compare the behaviour of MEPs while influencing EU legislation with their discourse over social media.

In this first project, we looked at the sentiment projected by MEPs in the online space while speaking about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and compared it with the MEPs’ actual behaviour in the European Parliament. We show which MEPs are influential inside the EP and which MEPs have a big impact over the public opinion. We also show where there are certain differences between the public discourse and MEPs’ actual legislative action.

The following series of charts provide an overview of our findings, with each dot representing an MEP (the colour of the dots reflecting their political group in the European Parliament). The first visual displays MEPs’ views on AI as reflected in their voting behaviour (horizontal), in relation to the sentiment they display on Twitter (vertical). The second graph portrays the correlation between influence on social media (vertical) and influence on Parliamentary activities (horizontal). Lastly, the third visual shows MEPs’ comparative influence on social media (vertical) and sentiment on artificial intelligence (horizontal). Click on the black arrows to scroll through the different charts.

Note: social media influence was calculated based on MEPs’ reach (i.e. number of followers) and the number of relevant tweets that they posted. In order to assess the social media discourse of MEPs on AI, we monitored their Twitter accounts by collecting tweets that include relevant keywords related to this topic. Once collected, we assessed the sentiment of each tweet and translated it into scores, ranging from -3 (strongly negative) to +3 (strongly positive). For more information on methodology, contact us at [email protected]

2. European Parliament: Influence and level of support for regulation on AI

The matrices below provide a detailed picture of the general trends in voting behaviour amongst MEPs when it comes to artificial intelligence. The level of influence of each MEP on Parliamentary activities is displayed on the vertical axis: the higher an MEP is placed on that axis, the greater the influence this MEP exerts over the AI legislation. Members who are placed on the left of the chart tend to push for more ambitious regulation (a conclusion we reached after looking at their recent legislative behaviour in the EP) while MEPs placed on the right of the chart believe in a more free-market approach to artificial intelligence.

Our analytical tool highlights which MEPs are the kingmakers and the swing-voters when decisions are made: the swing-voters are in the area surrounding the majority line (the yellow area) while the kingmakers are in the area where influence (the blue area) overlaps with the swing-voters area. The MEPs that have more moderate views on AI will generally be more receptive to new information, as they decide their position on a case-by-case basis. Conversely, MEPs that hold strongly crystallised views on AI (i.e. have either a strong regulatory approach or strong market approach) will arguably be less receptive to alternative views, as they have made up their mind long ago.

How does this information look like in our new analytical tool?

These two first charts show the general position of MEPs on AI legislation (regardless of their committee membership first, and within several relevant Committees). Pay particular attention to the interactive dots that are positioned in the proximity of the majority line, because those are the MEPs who will decide to support or reject a proposal at the last moment (and in doing so, they hold the key to the fate of a proposal). You can filter the MEPs by country (use the drop-down menu on the left side) or by political group (click on the name of a political group). Roll your mouse over each dot to learn more information, and click on the black arrows to scroll through the visuals.

Note: you will need to log in with your premium account in order to see the names of the MEPs (if you do not have one, contact us at [email protected]).

3. AI and EU consumer rights

The following series of charts represent the position of MEPs on different votes related to artificial intelligence legislation. While the positioning of MEPs on the matrix remains the same, note that the dots are now coloured in green (MEP voted in favour), red (MEP voted against) and yellow (MEP abstained) as they now refer to the voting behaviour of MEPs on one specific vote.

Importantly, VoteWatch is now proposing new visuals which compare the positioning of MEPs over time on a given issue or on different elements of a given policy. Below is a series of examples of this new tool applied in the context of AI. Click on the black arrows to scroll through the matrices.

4. Use of AI for recognition devices

5. Use of AI for military purposes (LAWS)

6. Use of AI in health crises

For more information, training, consultancy or media relations, contact us at [email protected]