EU Commission issues proposal to regulate AI

The EU Commission has today issued its proposal to legislate in the AI framework. The proposed Artificial Intelligence Act would ban AI systems that are considered a clear threat to the safety, livelihoods and rights of people. This includes AI systems or applications that manipulate human behaviour to circumvent users' free will (e.g. toys using voice assistance encouraging dangerous behaviour of minors) and systems that allow ‘social scoring' by governments.

Applications such as AI-enabled video games or spam filters that are considered to carry a minimal risk would not be affected. According to the Commission, the vast majority of AI systems fall into this category.

‘The legal framework would apply to both public and private actors inside and outside the EU as long as the AI system is placed on the Union market or its use affects people located in the EU. It can concern both providers (e.g. a developer of a CV-screening tool) and users of high-risk AI systems (e.g. a bank buying this resume screening tool),’ the proposal says.

Non-compliance with the rules would mean heavy GDPR-style fines for companies, up to 6% of their worldwide annual turnover for the preceding financial year.

Dan Whitehead, senior associate at Hogan Lovells, said:

“The EU Commission’s proposed regulation on artificial intelligence is a bold and ground-breaking attempt at regulating the future of our digital and physical worlds. This framework promises to have the same profound impact on the use of AI, as the GDPR has had on personal data. With both developers of high-risk AI technologies, along with the organisations that use them, facing a range of new obligations.”

See European Commission - Proposal for a Regulation on a European approach for Artificial Intelligence