European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee adopts reports on AI

[Update] All resolutions were adopted in the Parliament’s plenary on 20 October.

The Committee on Legal Affairs in the European Parliament has approved three reports on artificial intelligence (AI). The first report is a motion for a European Parliament Resolution with recommendations to the Commission on a framework of ethical aspects of AI, robotics and related technologies. The proposed resolution invites the European Commission to develop a legal framework with ethical principles for the development, deployment, and use of AI robotics and related technologies within the EU. It also outlines a series of guiding principles to be considered by such a the legislative framework, including safety, transparency, and accountability; a human-centric, human-made, and human-controlled AI; safeguards against bias and discrimination; and respect for fundamental rights. The second report is a motion for a European Parliament resolution with Recommendations to the Commission on a civil liability regime for AI. The document focuses on civil liability claims against the operator of an AI system, and notes that the operators’ liability is justified by the fact that they are controlling a risk associated with the AI system comparable to the owner of a car. According to the regulation proposed in the motion, the operator of a high-risk AI system would be strictly liable for any harm or damage that was caused by a physical or virtual activity device or process driven by that AI system. The third report –  a motion for a European Parliament resolution on intellectual property rights for the development of AI technologies – notes, among others, that technical creations generated by AI technology must be protected under the intellectual property rights (IPR) legal framework in order to encourage investment in this form of creation and improve legal certainty for citizens, businesses, and investors. In addition to making a distinction between IPR for the development of AI technologies and IPR potentially granted on creations generated by AI, the report also looks at issues such as copyright and protection of trade secrets in the context of AI. All reports are subject to vote in the European Parliament plenary session scheduled for 19–22 October 2020.