The Call for Regulating AI and Its Implications for Business
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While the European Parliament is making significant strides in formulating comprehensive regulations for artificial intelligence through the proposed Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act), the implications for businesses are becoming increasingly evident. The Act’s provisions, including risk classifications, transparency requirements, and substantial penalties for non-compliance, highlight the EU’s commitment to ensuring responsible and ethical AI practices while safeguarding the rights and safety of individuals.
Thierry Breton, the EU’s Commissioner for Internal Market, stated, “[AI] has been around for decades but has reached new capacities fueled by computing power.” The primary objective of the Artificial Intelligence Act is 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.” It is clear that the position is to be a leading centre for AI expertise, whilst guaranteeing that deployment of AI technology adheres to the values and regulations of the EU generally.
The European Commission originally proposed the Artificial Intelligence Act in April 2021. In late 2022, the European Council adopted a general approach position on the legislation, which is currently being discussed in the European Parliament. This narrows the definition of AI as developed through machine learning, logic-based approaches and knowledge-based approaches. The general approach further defined the scope for law enforcement.
Once the European Parliament formulates its position on the legislation, the law will enter a phase of interinstitutional negotiations known as trilogues. Trilogues involve negotiations among lawmakers to finalise and implement the law. Given the complexity of legislation like the Artificial Intelligence Act, this could be a lengthy process and involve several revisions to address the sticking points.
The parliamentary committees for Civil Liberties and the Internal Market jointly adopted the text by a large majority. The next step is adoption in plenary, with June 14 set as the provisional date. Once MEPs have formalised their position, the proposal will enter the final stage of the legislative process, kicking off negotiations with the Council and the EU Commission.
What are the impacts of AI Act on businesses?
For businesses operating in the European Union, understanding and adhering to the evolving AI regulations will be paramount. The proposed legislation aims to strike a delicate balance between fostering innovation and ensuring the protection of citizens. Compliance with the AI Act will require careful consideration of data quality, accountability frameworks, and human oversight, particularly for high-risk AI systems.
The potential impact of the AI Act on businesses requires proactive engagement and a comprehensive understanding of the evolving regulations. Oracle Solicitors are committed to providing expert guidance and legal support to clients navigating these complex requirements. Our aim is to help businesses leverage AI technologies in a manner that aligns with EU values and rules, ensuring compliance and enabling them to unlock the full potential of AI.
Ben Lockyer, business development manager at Oracle Solicitors, believes that the regulating should not be perceived as a hindrance to the progress of generative AI. On the contrary, he recognises the immense potential of this technology across multiple professions but emphasises that experts will be required to get the most out of the technology. The decision to regulate generative AI with an emphasis on transparency aims to align the technology with the requirements of various regulated sectors. However, as the legislation comes into effect, a crucial challenge that needs to be addressed is the regulation of the databases used to train generative AI systems.
The ongoing discussions and negotiations surrounding the AI Act emphasises the need for businesses to stay informed and adapt to regulatory changes. Oracle Solicitors will closely monitor these developments, providing timely updates to clients, and empowering them with the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate their implications on their business.
As AI continues to transform industries and drive innovation, the regulation of AI technologies will play a crucial role in shaping the future EU business. Striking the right balance between encouraging technological advancements and protecting societal values will be essential. The AI Act serves as a significant step towards establishing global norms and standards for AI, outlining responsible and trustworthy AI deployment in businesses across the European Union and beyond.
At Oracle Solicitors, we believe that a comprehensive understanding of AI regulations and their implications is crucial for businesses operating in the EU. Our team of experienced lawyers are dedicated to assisting clients in navigating regulatory frameworks, offering tailored advice and strategic solutions to help them achieve compliance and harness the full potential of AI technologies. Contact us today to find out more.
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