Italian government pursues tougher legislation for AI-related criminal activities

Robot hand and laptop

According to a draft legislation bill accessed by Reuters, Italy’s government is considering harsher punishments for crimes committed using Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques, such as market manipulation, money laundering and corruption.

The 25-article draft law specifies broad principles ‘on research, experimentation, development, adoption, and application’ of AI in Italy, addressing ‘the impact on fundamental rights’ and related socioeconomic concerns.

Why does it matter?

Italy currently serves as the chair of the Group of Seven (G7), with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni stating that AI will be one of the priorities of the 2024 presidency. A G7 summit is planned in mid-June, with Italy hosting leaders from Argentina, Brazil, India, and several African countries for outreach meetings.
AI has become an important concern in the European Union. The bloc has recently enacted the landmark AI Act, the world’s first comprehensive AI legislation with a risk-based framework, specific transparency obligations, and EU copyright laws.

In March, Meloni said that she would establish a 1 billion euro investment fund to support AI companies. The fund could attract another 2 billion euros from the private sector. The news was confirmed last week by the venture capital arm of the Italian state lender, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP). According to government sources, Italy’s cabinet is expected to approve the first draft by the end of April, before it is passed through parliament for amendments and final approval before becoming law.