European Commission publishes proposal for Artificial Intelligence Act

On April 21, 2021, the European Commission (the “Commission”) published its proposal for a Regulation on a European Approach to Artificial Intelligence (the “Artificial Intelligence Act”). The proposal follows a public consultation on the Commission’s White Paper on AI, published in February 2020. At the same time, the commission proposed a new machine regulation to ensure the safe integration of AI systems in machines.

The Artificial Intelligence Act would prohibit the use of AI systems that are seen as a clear threat to the safety, livelihood and rights of people, such as: B. Systems designed to manipulate human behavior through subliminal techniques and systems that allow government to act “socially” scoring ”, resulting in unfavorable treatment.

High risk AI systems are not prohibited under the proposed law, but are subject to restrictions. The high risk systems include the following:

  • For the management and operation of critical infrastructures that could endanger people, such as road traffic and electricity;
  • In education or training, e.Determining access to education;
  • As product safety components;
  • In employment, for example during the recruitment, promotion or dismissal process;
  • For essential private and public resources, including assessing access to benefits and services;
  • Through law enforcement, such as assessing the risk of re-offense by individuals;
  • For immigration and border control, including verifying the authenticity of travel documents; and
  • For justice and democracy, for example by using the system to apply the law to a range of facts.

Any system that uses real-time remote biometric identification, such as Such as facial recognition is also automatically classified as high risk and its use in public for law enforcement purposes is prohibited with limited exceptions such as missing children and terrorist threats. In these cases, too, approval from a competent body or judicial authority is required.

Before suppliers bring AI products developed for these areas onto the EU market (regardless of the supplier’s location), they are subject to certain obligations. The same obligations apply if the system itself is operated outside the EU but its performance is used in the EU. For example, such systems must be subjected to an appropriate risk assessment and mitigation measures implemented. The quality of the data sets used to train, validate, and test the system must also be of sufficient quality and their activity must be logged to ensure that their operation can be tracked and monitored. Providers must keep records that the authorities can use to assess compliance with these measures and provide users of the system with clear and adequate information. In addition, systems must be designed to ensure adequate human oversight and a high level of robustness, safety and accuracy in their performance.

Regarding AI systems that pose limited risk, the Artificial Intelligence Act would impose transparency obligations that require vendors to alert users that they are interacting with a machine, while systems with minimal risk would not through the proposal Handle and may be used freely. The commission stated that the vast majority of AI systems currently in use would fall into this last category.

The proposal also creates a European Artificial Intelligence Board made up of representatives from the EU Member States and the Commission. This would allow for a harmonized implementation of the Artificial Intelligence Act, advise the Commission and share best practices between EU Member States. If adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, the Artificial Intelligence Act would apply directly across the EU.

In the Commission’s press release, Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age said: “With these landmark rules, the EU is leading the development of new global standards to ensure AI can be trusted. By setting standards, we can pave the way to ethical technology around the world and ensure that the EU remains competitive along the way. “

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