Today, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) approved proposals to address long-term opportunities and legal challenges posed by artificial intelligence (AI) in the field of ethics, civil liability and intellectual property. Specifically, three reports of the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs on the increased development and use of AI systems were adopted built on the White Paper on AI, Report on safety and liability framework and Public consultation. In early 2021, the Commission is expected to put forward a legislative proposal on this matter.
Proposals include the following aspects:
Overall, the three adopted proposals include guiding principles that future laws must account for: a human-centric, human-made and human-controlled AI; safety, transparency and accountability; safeguards against bias and discrimination; right to redress; social and environmental responsibility, and respect for fundamental rights.
Ethics framework for AI: AI with self-learning capacities (machine learning) should be designed to allow for human oversight. If a functionality was used that would entail a serious breach of ethical principles and would be potentially dangerous for people, then the self-learning capacities should be disabled and return to operating safely.
Liability for AI causing damage: A future-oriented civil liability system is needed to protect private people and businesses. This would make those who operate high-risk AI strictly liable for any potentially caused damage and would encourage innovation by providing businesses with legal certainty, better protect citizens and enhance their trust in AI technologies by deterring risky activities.
Intellectual property rights: EU leadership in AI requires an effective system protecting intellectual property rights (IPRs) and safeguards for developers. MEPs specify that AI itself should not have legal personality and thus “inventorship” should be only granted to humans.