The new bill, called the AI Liability Directive, will be the EU’s Artificial Intelligence Act, which will become EU law at the same time. The AI bill would require additional scrutiny of “high-risk” uses of AI most likely to harm humans, including policing, recruitment or the health care system.
The new liability bill would give individuals and companies the right to sue after being harmed by AI systems. The goal is to hold the developers, producers and users of the technology accountable and ask them to explain how their AI systems are built and trained. Tech companies that don’t follow the rules will face EU-wide class actions.
For example, job seekers can prove that the AI system used to screen resumes discriminates against them, and they can ask a court to compel the AI company to grant them access to the system’s information so they can identify those responsible and find out what went wrong. With this information, they can sue.
The proposal still needs to go through the EU’s legislative process, which will take at least a few years.It will be revised by members of the European Parliament and EU governments and could face intense lobbying from tech companies claim These rules can have a “chilling effect” on innovation.
Mathilde Adjutor, European policy manager at the CCIA, a technology lobbying group representing companies including Google, Amazon and Uber, said the bill in particular could have a detrimental effect on software development.
Under the new rules, “developers are not only responsible for software bugs, but also for the software’s potential impact on users’ mental health,” she said.
Imogen Parker, deputy director of policy at the Ada Lovelace Institute, an artificial intelligence research body, said the bill would shift power from companies to consumers — an amendment she sees especially as a result of AI’s discriminatory potential important. Thomas Boué, head of European policy at the technology lobby group BSA, whose members include Microsoft and IBM, will ensure that when AI systems do cause harm, there is a common way to seek compensation across the EU.
However, some consumer advocacy groups and campaigners say the proposals are not enough and the bar is too high for consumers who want to file a claim.