Artificial Intelligence

Today, artificial intelligence (AI) systems are being deployed in a range of industry sectors, from logistics to adtech, and finance to e-health. As with any emerging and rapidly developing technologies, AI poses a range of potential legal issues.

Given AI’s potentially transformative effect on our lives and the technologies that underpin it, businesses working with AI solutions carefully need to consider the regulatory, data protection, data regulation, commercial and intellectual property issues posed.

For Bird & Bird, AI is a cornerstone of expertise within the Digital Rights & Assets Group. We have gathered unrivalled regulatory and legal specialists in all relevant sectors across the globe in an AI expert team. The team focuses on the following areas:

Identifying the potential impact of existing and emerging regulations on your business

Creating a regulatory framework for AI is an important pillar of Europe’s digital strategy ‘Shaping Europe’s digital future’. In April 2021, the European Commission unveiled a regulatory package including a proposal for an Artificial Intelligence Act. This will require companies to assess the potential impact of the risk-based approach of the new Act for the deployment and use of AI systems.

In October 2021, the Commission launched a consultation for amending the Product Liability Directive in terms of the liability regime. Any changes to the Directive are likely to affect the deployment of AI systems and responsibilities of stakeholders. They need to be assessed carefully to minimise civil liability risks for businesses and public services.

Bird & Bird’s regulatory and public affairs team is ready to assist you with anticipating regulatory developments, advocacy and compliance throughout the entire legislative process, from draft to final adoption and implementation.

Identifying any personal data and non-personal related issues in the context of privacy and data regulation

In Europe, any use of personal data must adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation. Therefore, the use of personal data in the context of AI systems must be carefully assessed in advance to avoid legal consequences or fines. The use non-personal data must be in compliance with the Free flow of data regulation, the Open Data Directive, and the upcoming Data Governance Act and the Data Act.

Working with you to identify the key commercial issues which arise when procuring or supplying AI systems and guiding you through contractual negotiations by deploying our understanding of the technology and the nuanced issues this poses

Artificial intelligence solutions are built on sophisticated software systems comprising complex algorithms and deploying cutting edge computing techniques. Therefore, many of the issues which arise in the context of traditional software systems also arise for AI solutions. However, due to the intricacies of the way in which AI systems are developed and operate, there are a number of issues that need to be approached differently and certain areas where a more nuanced approach is required. Advising clients on sourcing and supplying emerging technologies has been the bedrock of our commercial practice for over two decades. The lawyers in our market leading International Technology Transactions practice are able to use their deep understanding of tried and tested technology contracting models to ensure that the risks created by AI solutions are properly addressed.

Ensuring that intellectual property rights and rights to use data are properly catered for, both in terms of the inputs used by the system itself and the outputs it may create

With over 350 IP specialists across Europe the Middle East and Asia, our market leading IP practice has the breadth and depth of expertise to help you navigate the development, deployment and commercialisation of AI technology. Working seamlessly across practice groups, our IP and commercial team has a wealth of experience advising on the collection and use of AI training data, collaboration agreements for the development of AI systems and agreements for the commercialisation of AI products and services. We also have the technical and legal expertise to fight your corner when it comes to disputes relating to AI technology: whether its infringement AI of patents, trade secrets disputes covering the development of AI systems, or disputes relating to the ownership of AI systems and training data.

The Digital Rights & Assets European Digital Strategy Developments tool gives you an instant overview of the current developments in this and the wider area of data and digital assets. For advocacy with respect to AI, visit our Regulatory & Public Affairs page.

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