21 Apr 2021

New AI rules must be streamlined for Europe to become a global innovation hub

Today the European Commission published its draft regulation for rules on artificial intelligence. DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the risk-based approach but doubts whether the new requirements are simple and clear enough, and the implementation plans ambitious enough, to drive Europe towards becoming a global AI hub.

Reacting to the proposal, Director General Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl – a member of the European Commission’s High Level Expert Group on AI – said:

“We are pleased to see that the Commission has adopted a risk-based approach, as recommended by the High-Level Expert Group. The proposal is a good baseline, but there is still work to be done.

The inclusion of AI software into the EU’s product compliance framework could lead to excessive burden for many providers. This field is dominated by smaller firms with little to no experience in market access regulations, designed years ago for physical products. It is also an industry that needs to move quickly – to update AI software, apply the latest technological developments or address flaws.

After reading this Regulation, it is still an open question whether future start-up founders in ‘high risk’ areas will decide to launch their business in Europe. Smaller companies will need guidance, financial support, as well as simple and streamlined processes to be able to navigate these requirements. We need to nurture smaller companies through effective sandboxing, not bury them in new rules.

The implementation needs to be efficient and not once again spread over 27 national processes. It is vital that we avoid the fragmented and bumpy implementation that we saw with the GDPR.

We welcome the creation of a European AI Board. It could play a critical role in reducing barriers and fragmentation. For it to be successful, it is important that the Board is a true private public collaboration and includes industry representatives on an equal footing with public stakeholders.

We look forward to engaging with the Council and the European Parliament to support their policy work and ensure a balanced outcome safeguarding our fundamental rights while enabling innovation.”

For more information, please contact:
Chris Ruff
Director for Political Outreach & Communications
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