The European Parliament continues to build its position on Artificial Intelligence


Last Wednesday, 12 May, the European Parliament made substantial progress in their work on Artificial Intelligence, with discussions around three different reports in the European Parliament Committee for Legal affairs (JURI):

Firstly, the EP JURI Committee discussed the draft report on civil liability regime for artificial intelligence. MEP Axel Voss, EPP Group’s Legal Affairs Spokesman and rapporteur on the file, presented its draft report to the rest of the Committee. The MEP clearly calls for Strict liability rules for high-risk Artificial Intelligence systems, taking as an example a self-driving car, where strict liability rules should apply regardless of fault.

An important take-away from the draft report is that according to Voss, a “huge legislative project” to update existing liability regimes in the EU is not needed, and that amending existing legislation would be sufficient.

 The Rapporteur, similarly to the Commission and other colleagues in the EP, is strongly in favor of a risk-based approach, asking notably the European Commission to set up a system by which “high-risk AI systems must be listed transparently in law, with the list being regularly reviewed and supplemented”. “Low-risks”, for the lack of better expression would not be subjected to the same strict liability regimes.

On the same day, the EP JURI Committee discussed the draft report and proposed Regulation on a Framework of ethical aspects of artificial intelligence, robotics and related technologies. This report, drafted by Ibán García del Blanco (S&D, Spain), covers a broad range of aspects of regulating AI. It notably sets out to harmonize the principles needed for the development and use of AI robotics and related technologies, including software, algorithms and data. It highlights once again the ethical principles that should be applied, including a human-centred approach to technologies; respect for autonomy and decision-making of human management; a definition of ‘high-risk’ for technologies presenting a risk of breaching ethical principles.

Finally, the EP JURI Committee had the opportunity to discuss a draft report on Intellectual property rights for the development of artificial intelligence technologies, focusing notably on current mechanisms surrounding AI and the availability of data for AI that could be improved, as well as the link between licenses, contracts and IPR and the availability data.

As the European Parliament progresses on its position, the European Commission is still gathering feedback from stakeholders with an official written consultation, seeking feedback on the White paper through a questionnaire.