On 21 April 2021, the European Commission proposed new rules and actions aimed at making Europe the global hub for trustworthy Artificial Intelligence (AI). The combination of the first-ever legal framework on AI and a new Coordinated Plan with Member States will endeavour to guarantee the safety and fundamental rights of people and businesses, while strengthening AI uptake, investment and innovation across the EU. New rules on Machinery will complement this approach by adapting safety rules to increase users’ trust in new products.
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe fit for the Digital Age, said: “On Artificial Intelligence, trust is a must, not a nice to have. With these landmark rules, the EU is spearheading the development of new global norms to make sure AI can be trusted. By setting the standards, we can pave the way to ethical technology worldwide and ensure that the EU remains competitive along the way. Future-proof and innovation-friendly, our rules will intervene where strictly needed: when the safety and fundamental rights of EU citizens are at stake.”
The new rules will be applied across all Member States and will follow a risk-based approach.
High-risk AI systems will be subject to strict obligations before they can be put on the market. In particular, all remote biometric identification systems are considered high risk and subject to strict requirements.
The Commission have updated their Coordinated Plan on AI, which was first published in 2018. The comprehensive update proposes concrete joint actions for collaboration to ensure all efforts are aligned with the European Strategy on AI and the European Green Deal. It puts forward a vision to accelerate investments in AI, and aims to spur the implementation of national AI strategies, remove fragmentation, and address global challenges.
Machinery products cover an extensive range of consumer and professional products, such as robots, 3D printers, construction machines, industrial production lines. The Commission want their new regulations to both guarantee the safety of users and consumers, and to encourage innovation.
The new machinery regulation can be found here. The regulation is written to be technology neutral. This means that it lays down the essential health and safety requirements to be complied with, without prescribing any specific technical solution to comply with those requirements.
Read the press release from the EC in full here.
Proposal for a Regulation on a European approach for Artificial Intelligence.
New rules for Artificial Intelligence – Questions and Answers.
New rules for Artificial Intelligence – Facts page.
Coordinated Plan on Artificial Intelligence 2021.
Regulation on Machinery Products.
Read, and watch, the speech by Vice-President Vestager at the Commission press conference.