AI as a digital asset

AI Regulatory Package

Latest Developments

On 13 March 2024, the European Parliament plenary voted to adopt the text of AI Act provisional agreement with 523 votes in favour, 46 against and 49 abstentions.
The text from 6 March 2024 already includes some legal-linguistic changes. However, the Council still needs to finalise the lawyer- linguistic revision. Now that the plenary vote has taken place, the final cleaned text will be voted upon by responsible European Parliament Committees, namely the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) and the Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee, by the end of March.

Once adopted at Committee level, the corrected text will be placed on the agenda of the European Parliament’s second April plenary session. The corrected AI Act text will be announced in plenary as a procedural step without any vote. It is then likely to be published in the EU Official Journal at the end of May.

Summary

AI package comprises:

  • A Proposal for a Regulation on a European approach for Artificial Intelligence;
  • An updated Coordinated Plan with Member States; and
  • A Proposal for a Regulation on machinery products

A risk-based approach was proposed by the Commission, built around the concept “the higher the risk, the stricter the rule”. Therefore, the proposal differentiates AI uses into four categories:

  • Unacceptable risks: AI systems falling within this category are prohibited, as they are deemed to be against EU fundamental rights and values. Banned AI systems include exploitative or manipulative practices, such as “practices that have a significant potential to manipulate persons through subliminal techniques”, and AI-based social scoring carried out by public authorities;
  • High risks: Such high-risk AI systems will be allowed only if they comply with certain mandatory requirements comprising: data governance, documentation and recordkeeping, transparency and provision of information to users, human oversight, robustness, accuracy and security, as well as ex-ante conformity assessments. The identification of high-risk AI will be closely linked to their intended purpose and includes systems used in for critical infrastructure, educational training, hiring services, migration and border control tools, justice administration and law enforcement. Realtime biometric systems (facial recognition) are included in this group and would be banned unless strictly necessary;
  • Low risks: AI systems to which only specific transparent obligations will apply, as of making citizens aware that on the other side there is a machine (and not a human) interacting with them e.g., chatbots; and
  • Minimal risks: this last group comprises AI systems that are considered not to constitute a risk or pose a threat to citizens’ fundamental rights and to which no specific obligation will be applied 

Interplay with EU framework

The European Data Protection Supervisor, the European Data Protection Board and the European Central Bank have published relevant opinions about this proposal in the fields of their competence. Questions have been raised regarding the interplay of the proposed AI Regulation and consistency with the EU legal framework including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Product Liability Directive, the General Product Safety Directive and among other instruments.

How could it be relevant for you?

The AI Package represents the first ever set of rules on AI, which will be binding for AI systems, developers, users and importers of such technologies.

The package is aimed at striking a balance between building citizens’ trust in AI systems to mitigate associated risks and boosting investment and innovation in the further development of AI systems.

Next steps

The corrected AI Act text will be featured on the agenda of the European Parliament's second April plenary session. The corrected text will likely be published in the EU Official Journal by the end of May.

*Information is accurate up to19 March 2024

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