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AI Act: EU Lawmakers Abandon Risk-Based Approach, Start Final Negotiations

June 2023 by CCIA Europe’s Policy Manager, Boniface de Champris

Today, the European Parliament adopted its position on the landmark Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act, paving the way for final negotiations with the 27 EU Member States starting later today. Parliament’s changes mark a clear departure from the Act’s original risk-based approach.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA Europe) welcomes progress made by Members of the European Parliament, but stresses that the upcoming negotiations need to deliver an outcome that stays true to the Act’s central objective of promoting the uptake and development of AI across the EU.

In order for Europe to become a technology incubator, the Act should only regulate specific applications of AI systems that pose a clear threat. Making artificial intelligence work for the people is not just about addressing potential risks, it also means that promoting innovation needs to be at the core of the new regulation, CCIA Europe underlines.

MEPs’ recent amendments, however, now extend the strict requirements meant for high-risk cases to many useful AI applications that pose very limited risks, or none at all, as well. These changes are likely to overburden European AI developers with excessively prescriptive rules, ultimately slowing down innovation.

For the new AI rules to be truly future-proof, they need to remain technology neutral, applying stringent requirements to high-risk applications only. Indeed, the EU co-legislators should avoid creating a framework that targets particular highly-innovative systems only because they attract a lot of media attention, as it simply wouldn’t stand the test of time.

CCIA Europe calls on the EU negotiators to maintain a risk-based approach to AI regulation that enhances trust and addresses risks while avoiding unnecessary red tape.

The following can be attributed to CCIA Europe’s Policy Manager, Boniface de Champris:

"The EU is set to become a leader in regulating artificial intelligence, but whether it will lead on AI innovation still remains to be seen. Europe’s new AI rules need to effectively address clearly-defined risks, while leaving enough flexibility for developers to deliver useful AI applications to the benefit of all Europeans. Yet, more work remains to be done in the final negotiations with the other EU institutions in order to achieve these objectives."

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