An Intelligent Trust? An Analysis of the EU White Paper on AI Regulation

In February 2020, the European Commission released its White Paper on the regulation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) called Artificial Intelligence- A European approach to excellence and trust. The White Paper also outlines a strategy for the promotion of AI development and its uptake in Europe, using a variety of EU programmes. These programmes will aim to promote investment of €20 billion annually in AI technology in the EU.

The regulatory framework outlined by the White Paper has proven divisive. It is proposed that the new regulations will apply to “high-risk” AI technology only. However, the merits of this approach, and the methodology of determining if an AI application is “high-risk” have proven controversial. The White Paper also proposes the use of prior conformity assessments to assess high-risk applications before they are placed on the market. It is further proposed that regulations should apply to the actors best placed to address the risks of an AI application, and not just the original developers of the application.

This policy brief examines the White Paper and explores some of the key issues in the EU’s approach to this vitally important emerging technology.