Critical takeaways for the busy person.
The commission wants to create a legal framework for AI – and who can blame them? It’s early days and pretty “cowboy” in terms of the procedural framework around AI.
The commission acknowledges that AI will have a significant impact on the European economy going forward, and is considered and supported as a growth area, specifically for SMB’s. It requires that we focus our efforts on training and education in the area as we currently have a shortage of AI competences.
In the legal framework, the EU is looking at the following:
1. Human agency and oversight
- Decisions, e.g., medical diagnostics, should always be approved and validated by a human. The same goes for weapons, I presume.
2. Technical robustness and safety
- Safety dependant applications like self-driving cars must be tested and certified by some EU authority – Like the NCAP tests for physical safety.
3. Privacy and data governance
- The data sets used must have documentation related to the relevancy of usage. E.g. If you use images of faces, you must explain the extent of the purpose – a little like GDPR.
- AI models are inherently intransparent. Creators must provide documented proof of the workings, and in some cases, supply the training data set itself.
5. Diversity, non-discrimination and fairness
- The results of AI predictions are only as good as the human trainers. Historically there have been cases of strong racial and gender bias, both in terms of facial analysis, but also in crime-related predictions. EU seeks to change this by regulation.
6. Societal and environmental wellbeing
- The topic will not result in any legal framework. However, it’s on the agenda because AI calculations take up significant power-usage, and EU’s intentions are, that we should focus the development efforts to limit this by developing, not only towards the goal of better AI but also towards saving power in the process.
- Concerning the above, you will get penalized for non-compliance. If we extrapolate the current fines for GDPR, it will potentially be significant amounts of money in penalty.
My personal conclusion
I don’t like to be regulated by anyone. I do, however, recognize the need for regulatory efforts in any society for it to achieve its goals for the common good.
EU has proven once again to be the front-runner in taking a qualified look at the future ahead and taking the necessary steps to ensure the rights of the ordinary EU citizen. Generally, I think this will be mainly a good thing, but it will be challenging to provide transparency in the inherently intransparent workings of AI.