AI: The European Union’s Artificial Intelligence Act, explained – WEF on GEO´
Wednesday, 5th March 2023
The European Union (EU) is considering a new legal framework that aims to significantly bolster regulations on the development and use of artificial intelligence.
- The European Union is considering far-reaching legislation on artificial intelligence (AI).
- The proposed Artificial Intelligence Act would classify AI systems by risk and mandate various development and use requirements.
- European lawmakers are still debating the details, with many stressing the need to both foster AI innovation and protect the public.
The proposed legislation, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act, focuses primarily on strengthening rules around data quality, transparency, human oversight and accountability. It also aims to address ethical questions and implementation challenges in various sectors ranging from healthcare and education to finance and energy.
“[AI] has been around for decades but has reached new capacities fuelled by computing power,” Thierry Breton, the EU’s Commissioner for Internal Market, said in a statement. The Artificial Intelligence Act aims to “strengthen Europe’s position as a global hub of excellence in AI from the lab to the market, ensure that AI in Europe respects our values and rules, and harness the potential of AI for industrial use.”
The cornerstone of the AI Act is a classification system that determines the level of risk an AI technology could pose to the health and safety or fundamental rights of a person. The framework includes four risk tiers: unacceptable, high, limited and minimal.
AI systems with limited and minimal risk—like spam filters or video games—are allowed to be used with little requirements other than transparency obligations. Systems deemed to pose an unacceptable risk—like government social scoring and real-time biometric identification systems in public spaces—are prohibited with little exception.
On artificial intelligence, trust is a must, not a nice to have. — Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age
High-risk AI systems are permitted, but developers and users must adhere to regulations that require rigorous testing, proper documentation of data quality and an accountability framework that details human oversight. AI deemed high risk include autonomous vehicles, medical devices and critical infrastructure machinery, to name a few.
The proposed legislation also outlines regulations around so-called general purpose AI, which are AI systems that can be used for different purposes with varying degrees of risk. Such technologies include, for example, large language model generative AI systems like ChatGPT.
EU’s Artificial Intelligence Act: for safely harnessing AI’s full potential “With this Act, the EU is taking the lead in attempting to make AI systems fit for the future we as human want,”
said Kay Firth-Butterfield, the Head of AI at the World Economic Forum. Learn More /…
The World Economic Forum is the International Organisation for Public-Private Cooperation.
The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests. The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance. Moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does. Learn More /…
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