European Commission publishes white paper on AI

The European Commission has published a White Paper on Artificial Intelligence outlining several policy options aimed to ‘enable a trustworthy and secure development of AI in Europe’. The paper starts by proposing several actions to be taken to create an ecosystem of excellence to support the development and uptake of AI across the EU. It then focuses on issues related to a potential new European regulatory framework for AI. The European Commission notes that several EU rules and regulations (covering areas such as product safety, liability, consumer rights, fundamental rights) are relevant and potentially applicable to AI applications. But new legislation dedicated specifically to AI may be needed ‘to make the EU legal framework fit for the current and anticipated technological and commercial developments’. The Commission therefore suggests that a new regulatory framework is developed to apply to high-risk AI applications. Such a framework would include requirements related to (a) data sets used to train AI systems; (b) keeping records regarding the data sets used to train and test AI systems, and keeping the data itself; (c) providing information about the use of high-risk AI systems; (d) robustness and accuracy of AI applications; (e) human oversight; (f) the gathering and use of biometric data for remote identification purposes. Such requirements would apply to all relevant economic operators providing AI-enabled products or services in the EU, regardless of whether they are established in the EU or not. The paper is under public consultation until 19 May 2020.