As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes increasingly embedded in the fabric of business and our everyday lives, both corporations and consumer-advocacy groups have lobbied for clearer rules to ensure that it is used fairly. In May, the European Union became the first governmental body in the world to issue a comprehensive response in the form of draft regulations aimed specifically at the development and use of AI. The proposed regulations would apply to any AI system used or providing outputs within the European Union, signaling implications for organizations around the world. Our research shows that many organizations still have a lot of work to do to prepare themselves for this regulation and address the risks associated with AI more broadly. In 2020, only 48 percent of organizations reported that they recognized regulatory-compliance risks, and even fewer (38 percent) reported actively working to address them.
Today, artificial intelligence and machine learning tools are ubiquitous across sectors--used for everything from determining an individual's credit worthiness to enabling law enforcement surveillance--and rapidly evolving. Despite this, few nations have rules in place to oversee these systems or mitigate the harms they could cause. On April 21, the European Commission released a draft of its proposed AI regulation, the world's first legal framework addressing the risks posed by artificial intelligence. The draft regulation makes some notable strides, prohibiting the use of certain harmful AI systems and reining in harmful uses of some high-risk algorithmic systems. However, the Commission's proposed regulation displays gaps which, if not addressed, could limit its effectiveness in holding some of the biggest developers and deployers of algorithmic systems accountable.
In what could be a harbinger of the future regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) in the United States, the European Commission published its recent proposal for regulation of AI systems. The proposal is part of the European Commission's larger European strategy for data, which seeks to "defend and promote European values and rights in how we design, make and deploy technology in the economy." To this end, the proposed regulation attempts to address the potential risks that AI systems pose to the health, safety, and fundamental rights of Europeans caused by AI systems. Under the proposed regulation, AI systems presenting the least risk would be subject to minimal disclosure requirements, while at the other end of the spectrum AI systems that exploit human vulnerabilities and government-administered biometric surveillance systems are prohibited outright except under certain circumstances. In the middle, "high-risk" AI systems would be subject to detailed compliance reviews.
On 21 April 2021, the European Commission proposed a new, transformative legal framework to govern the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the European Union. The proposal adopts a risk-based approach whereby the uses of artificial intelligence are categorised and restricted according to whether they pose an unacceptable, high, or low risk to human safety and fundamental rights. The policy is widely considered to be one of the first of its kind in the world which would, if passed, have profound and far-reaching consequences for organisations that develop or use technologies incorporating artificial intelligence. The European Commission's proposal has been in the making since 2017, when EU legislators enacted a resolution and a report with recommendations to the Commission on Civil Law Rules on Robotics. In 2020, the European Commission published a white paper on artificial intelligence.
On 21 April 2021, the European Commission published draft regulations ("AI Regulations") governing the use of artificial intelligence (AI). The European Parliament and the member states have not yet adopted these proposed AI Regulations. The European Commission's proposed AI Regulations are the first attempt the world has seen at creating a uniform legal framework governing the use, development and marketing of AI. They will likely have a resounding impact on all businesses that use AI for years to come. The AI Regulations will become effective 20 days after publication in the Official Journal.