On 21 April 2021, the European Commission (EC) published a proposal (Proposed Regulations) which is described as the “first-ever legal framework on [Artificial Intelligence]“, aiming to turn Europe into the global hub for trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Proposed Regulations are of general interest because they constitute a first attempt to “regulate” AI properly and, if implemented, may become influential worldwide.
The Proposed Regulations defined an AI system as “software that is developed with one or more of the techniques and approaches listed in Annex I and can, for a given set of human-defined objectives, generate outputs such as content, predictions, recommendations, or decisions influencing the environments they interact with”. The techniques and approaches listed in Annex I include machine learning approaches, logic and knowledge-based approaches and statistical approaches.
The Proposed Regulations apply to, amongst others:
Prohibited and high-risk AI systems
The Proposed Regulations prohibit certain AI systems including those that:
The Proposed Regulations consider certain AI systems as high-risk including those that are:
Providers of high-risk AI systems must comply with strict requirements such as having a quality management system in place and technical documentation and ensuring that the high-risk AI systems undergo a conformity assessment procedure before being placed on the market.
The European Parliament and the Council of the EU will have to agree on the text of the Proposed Regulations in order for them to become EU law. This legislative process may take a year or more.
The Proposed Regulations and supporting annexes are accessible here.