European Commission Proposes New Rules For Artificial Intelligence

by | Apr 29, 2021

The European Commission has proposed new rules and actions aimed at turning Europe into the global hub for trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI). For years, the Commission has been facilitating and enhancing cooperation on AI across the EU to boost its competitiveness and ensure trust based on EU values. 

The combination of the first-ever legal framework on AI and a new Coordinated Plan with Member States aims to guarantee the safety and fundamental rights of people and businesses, while strengthening AI uptake, investment and innovation across the EU. 

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age, said: “On Artificial Intelligence, trust is a must, not a nice to have. With these landmark rules, the EU is spearheading the development of new global norms to make sure AI can be trusted. By setting the standards, we can pave the way to ethical technology worldwide and ensure that the EU remains competitive along the way. Future-proof and innovation-friendly, our rules will intervene where strictly needed: when the safety and fundamental rights of EU citizens are at stake.”

The new AI regulation will address specific risks posed by AI systems and the commission wants it to set leading global standards. The Coordinated Plan outlines policy changes and investment at Member States level to strengthen Europe’s position in the development of human-centric, sustainable, secure, inclusive and trustworthy AI. The new rules will be applied directly in the same way across all Member States based on a future-proof definition of AI. 

  • Unacceptable risk: AI systems considered a clear threat to the safety, livelihoods and rights of people will be banned.
  • High-risk AI systems will be subject to strict obligations before they can be put on the market. All remote biometric identification systems would be considered high risk and subject to strict requirements.
  • Limited risk AI systems with specific transparency obligations would need to ensure users are aware that they are interacting with a machine so they can take an informed decision to continue or step back.
  • Minimal risk: The proposal would allow the free use of applications such as AI-enabled video games or spam filters. The vast majority of AI systems are anticipated to fall into this category.

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