Europe leads the way on set rules for Artificial Intelligence

The EU has released recommendations on artificial intelligence regulation to balance protecting customers and to promote technological growth. These include an agreement on IP problems, a development ethics policy, and liability rules setting penalties of up to € 2 million and a 30-year limitation period for such claims.

In this article i propose a summary of key proposals.

These are amongst the first detailed legislative proposals to be published internationally, so make for interesting reading for stakeholders worldwide. The recommendations cover three areas:

  • an ethics framework for AI

For AI product producers, these ideas merit careful consideration. Specifically, those running “high-risk” AI face the possibility of a rigorous new regulatory regime. Next year, the European Commission said it would issue draft regulations on AI.

The Commission could well adopt any of the European Parliament’s proposals, or variants on them. Affected stakeholders will have opportunities to engage with any new AI laws during the normal legislative process, but efforts to understand how these proposals could affect your company should start now.

An ethics framework for AI

The legislative initiative by Iban García del Blanco (S&D, ES) urges the EU Commission to present a new legal framework outlining the ethical principles and legal obligations to be followed when developing, deploying, and using artificial intelligence, robotics, and related technologies in the EU including software, algorithms, and data.

Future laws should be made following several guiding principles, including a human-centric and human-made AI, safety, transparency, and accountability; safeguards against bias and discrimination; right to redress; social and environmental responsibility; and respect for privacy data protection.

High-risk AI technologies, such as those with self-learning capacities, should be designed to allow for human oversight at any time.

If functionality is used to result in a severe breach of ethical principles and could be dangerous, the self-learning capacities should be disabled, and full human control should be restored.

Liability for AI causing damage

Axel Voss (EPP, DE) ‘s legislative initiative calls for a future-oriented civil liability framework, making those operating high-risk AI strictly liable for any resulting damage. A clear legal framework would stimulate innovation by providing businesses with legal certainty while protecting citizens and promoting their trust in AI technologies by deterring activities that might be dangerous.

The rules should apply to physical or virtual AI activity that harms or damages life, health, physical integrity, property, or that causes significant immaterial harm if it results in “verifiable economic loss.” While high-risk AI technologies are still rare, MEPs believe that their operators should hold insurance similar to that used for motor vehicles.

Intellectual property rights

The report by Stéphane Séjourné (Renew Europe, FR) makes clear that EU global leadership in AI requires a significant intellectual property rights system (IPR) and safeguards for the EU’s patent system to protect innovative developers while stressing that this should not come at the expense of human creators’ interests, nor the European Union’s ethical principles.

MEPs believe it is essential to distinguish between AI-assisted human creations and AI-generated creations. They specify that AI should not have a legal personality; thus, ownership of IPRs should only be granted to humans. The text looks further into copyright, data collection, trade secrets, the use of algorithms, and deep fakes.


With this framework, the European Parliament is among the first institutions to put forward recommendations on what AI rules should include ethics, liability, and intellectual property rights.

Future laws should be made following several guiding principles, including a human-centric and human-made AI.

More information:

Further detail on the proposals can be found in the press release, legislative proposals for the ethics framework, and liability for AI and the resolution for IP rights.

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