* Experts want companies to be able to share and use data
* Panel urges governments' pledge against mass surveillance
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, June 26 (Reuters) - The European Union should order companies to give rivals reasonable access to technology that can be used for artificial intelligence projects, a panel of experts, which includes Google, SAP and IBM, said on Wednesday.
The recommendation from the group, whose 52 members also include academics and representatives from industry bodies, could form the basis of EU-wide rules in the coming years.
The European Commission enlisted the experts' help last year as part of its plan to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) across the bloc and help European companies catch up with rivals in Asia and the United States.
"Consider the introduction of a data access regime on FRAND terms, namely fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory. In addition, data interoperability amongst market players should be incentivised and required, where appropriate," the group said in its report.
The call comes amid a dispute between carmaker Daimler , car parts company Valeo and Nokia on fair access to the Finnish company's patents for self-driving vehicles.
The experts also warned against governments using AI systems to spy on individuals. China has been criticised by activists, scholars, foreign governments and U.N. rights experts over what they call mass detentions and strict surveillance of the mostly Muslim Uighur minority and other Muslim groups in Xinjiang.
"While there may be a strong temptation for governments to 'secure society' by building a pervasive surveillance system based on AI systems, this would be extremely dangerous if pushed to extreme levels," the group said.
It said EU governments should commit not to engage in mass surveillance of individuals.
The experts also suggested developing AI tools to help civil society bodies and non-government organisations detect biases and undue prejudice in government decision-making. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Mark Potter)