AI Regulation: key insights

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Claves del Reglamento de IA

AI Regulation: key insights

This AI Regulation is the proof that in the era of technological innovations, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has transitioned from a futuristic concept to a deeply ingrained presence in our daily lives.

While the popularity of tools like ChatGPT or Bard has hastened their integration into our daily conversations, AI has long played a pivotal role in various applications. From virtual assistants and medical diagnostics to automatic translations and navigation systems, AI has showcased its versatility and effectiveness across diverse fields.

Surprisingly, despite its ubiquitous presence, a specific regulatory framework guiding the ethical development and implementation of AI was lacking until now. This regulatory gap has led to exponential technological growth without the necessary guidelines to safeguard fundamental values and address the ethical and social concerns surrounding AI.

AI Regulation: Key Insights

In this context, a crucial milestone emerges: the introduction of an IA regulation exclusively dedicated to overseeing Artificial Intelligence, signifying a significant shift in how we approach and manage this ever-evolving technology.

At the forefront of commitment to AI regulation, the European Union published the AI White Paper in 2020, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the challenges posed by the complexity, unpredictability, and autonomous behavior of certain AI systems. Taking a significant step forward, the Proposal for Regulation on Artificial Intelligence laying down harmonized rules on Artificial Intelligence (”AI Law”) has now been introduced.

This Regulation will apply to providers marketing or deploying AI systems within the EU territory, regardless of whether they are established in the EU or a third country, as well as to users of AI within the European Union. Additionally, it introduces a comprehensive definition of AI designed to withstand the test of time and rapid technological changes.

Objectives of the AI Regulation

  1. Protection of Fundamental User Rights: The bill emphasizes the need to protect and respect the principles of legality, transparency, and non-discrimination. The use of AI for mass surveillance, human behavior scoring (”social scoring”), among others, is expressly prohibited. Explicit exceptions are required for the use of biometric or facial recognition systems in public spaces. AI systems must be transparent, providing a clear explanation of their operation to end-users, avoiding opacity and enabling people to understand how AI-informed decisions are made.
  2. Promotion of Ethical Innovation and Research: Despite the imposed restrictions and obligations, the bill also seeks to promote innovation and research in ethical AI. Measures will be established to facilitate access to high-quality data, encourage collaboration between academic institutions, and create funding programs for ethical AI projects.

Regulation measures for AI

AI will be regulated based on potential risks, categorized into:

  • Permitted: Involving minimal risks (e.g., VR or filters).
  • Permitted with transparency requirements: Due to limited risk categories (e.g., Chatbots or AI-generated content).
  • Regulated: Posing high risks (e.g., AI in decision-making for exams or job applications, or grant allocations).
  • Prohibited: Due to high risk and categorized as unacceptable (e.g., Social scoring or remote facial recognition).

For the oversight and enforcement of the AI Regulation, close collaboration is required between the European authority, the European AI Committee, and the authorities of the Member States responsible for supervising the implementation and compliance at the national level.

From the Spanish perspective, national oversight will be handled by the newly established Spanish Agency for AI Supervision (AESIA), endowed with the sanctioning powers outlined in this Regulation.

Penalties under the AI Regulation

  • Minor Offenses: Such as providing inaccurate, incomplete, or misleading information to notifying authorities, may result in fines up to 10 million euros or equivalent to 2% of the global annual turnover.
  • Serious Offenses: Administrative sanctions of up to 30 million euros or, for infringing companies, up to 6% of the total global annual turnover.

In essence, this regulation aims to establish a robust and ethical regulatory framework for the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the European Union. It has undergone extensive debates and consultations to ensure alignment with existing regulations on data protection and consumer rights, while striking a balance not to hinder the innovation and economic growth opportunities associated with AI development.

While the Regulation will be applicable within the EU, its impact is expected to extend beyond borders, posing the question of whether it will influence practices and regulations in third-party countries.

At Letslaw, our team of digital lawyers will provide legal advice on Artificial Intelligence matters. We are here to assist you in adapting your project to the new AI regulatory requirements. Feel free to reach out to us!

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