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Artificial Intelligence – Regulatory Update – Part 4

Part four of our WABComment mini-series explores a practical approach to AI regulation for businesses and the predicted timelines for regulatory implementation.In our AI-Mini Series, our commercial team take a look at recent regulatory developments in the AI space, what the effects of regulation will look like and expected timelines for enforcement.

Part three of our WABComment series looked at the effects that AI Regulation within the UK and the EU will have on businesses.

You can now download our AI Regulatory Update Paper in full here.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Generally speaking, AI is a system this is trained upon specific data to analyse and detect patterns, which is then used to detect or replicate those patterns in new data, such as interpreting speech or spotting specific items in texts or images. There is not yet one single legal definition of AI, although as we will see below EU regulators are seeking to set a definition for their purposes.

Time-scales

EU

The European Parliament is scheduled to vote on the draft AI Act shortly. The European Parliament lead Joint Committee will need to adopt a report on the proposal before the plenary can adopt its negotiating position. The institutions are then expected to hold informal trialogue meetings with the aim of reaching agreement on the final text of the act before it is formally adopted.

It can be expected that the AI Act will become law in the EU over the course of 2023/2024, after which there is expected to be a grace period of 2-3 years before the Act is fully enforceable.

UK

The Office for AI is currently in the process of engaging with industry, the public sector, regulators, academia and civil society as part of the consultation period following the publication of the White Paper, and will within six months publish the government’s response to the consultation. Organisations may respond to the White Paper’s consultation until 21 June.

The Office for AI have said they will publish an AI Regulation Roadmap with plans for establishing the central government functions overseeing the implementation of the framework, as well as plans to pilot a new AI sandbox or testbed.

Practical Approach

AI is not just for robots – many industries that don’t consider themselves on the bleeding edge of technology will inevitably incorporate AI in some form as it becomes more and more integrated into everyday processes: collating payroll information; sifting through applicants’ CVs; customer-facing chatbots and writing text for websites.

Businesses would be well advised to take stock and keep tabs of any AI technologies they produce or incorporate into their practices, and consider which risk categories these may fall into within the scope of the EU AI Act and any future regulatory restrictions.

With the advent of the UK and EU regulation, businesses will inevitably need to formalise their practices for internal and external uses of any AI for the sake of evidencing compliance, including collating inventories, inputting polies on their use and introducing staff training on such policies.


Our AI-Mini Series was produced by Richard Wilkin, Ella Paskett and Emily Read. Please reach out to one of the team for more information on AI, or find out more about how we can help you.

You can now download our AI Regulatory Update Paper in full here.

Disclaimer: This article is produced for and on behalf of White & Black Limited, which is a limited liability company registered in England and Wales with registered number 06436665. It is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The contents of this article should be viewed as opinion and general guidance, and should not be treated as legal advice.

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