06 May 2021 Artificial Intelligence Act: A (giant) step in the right direction
Much-needed proposal on AI
Eurosmart warmly welcomes the proposal for an Artificial Intelligence Act -published on 21 April. The association has been advocating for years for EU requirements for Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems. Eurosmart has particularly stressed the importance of the quality of the datasets and the crucial need for cybersecurity – to prevent attacks on AI, such as data poisoning.
The risk-based approach ensures that high-risk systems will have to comply with certain requirements before being placed on the EU market. Data governance and cybersecurity are among these requirements.
Excellent bridge to the Cybersecurity Act
Eurosmart appreciates very much that the proposal clearly establishes a link to the Cybersecurity Act (Regulation 2019/881). AI systems that were already cybersecurity certified in the context of the Cybersecurity Act will benefit from a presumption of conformity with the cybersecurity requirements of the AI Act.
This link between the AI Act and the Cybersecurity Act is an excellent demonstration of legal consistency. This will directly benefit companies that opted for a cybersecurity certification by ensuring that they do not have to duplicate their efforts. This bridge could fuel the uptake of European cybersecurity certification by companies. These are great news for the overall level of cybersecurity across the EU.
“The proposal for an AI Act shows once again that the EU wants to have its own way of developing technologies. Eurosmart is particularly glad to see cybersecurity among the requirements. We cannot wait to see the synergies with the Cybersecurity Act.”Alban Feraud, President of Eurosmart
Fostering innovation: Call for an AI Competence Centre
The proposed AI Act contains crucial provisions relating to innovation. Among those, it is worth mentioning the AI regulatory sandboxes that Member States will be able to establish. Eurosmart fully supports this initiative that will provide companies with an environment to develop, test and validate innovative AI systems before they are placed on the market. In parallel, the revised Coordinated Plan on AI confirms the Commission’s intentions to create an AI lighthouse. This AI lighthouse should be a reference point for European research on AI, gathering industry and academia.
Eurosmart welcomes these projects but insists on the need for an AI Competence Centre. An AI Competence Centre would have broader missions and hence be more suitable to become a reference point on AI. Such a structure could define the research and innovation priorities, organise access to sensitive data, and work on standards and certification. This position was further developed in an earlier position paper.
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