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Closing the Gap between Artificial Intelligence and Regulatory Challenges

Photo (left to right): Quang-Minh Lepescheux, government affairs director at Microsoft; Karen Melchior, member of the European Parliament; Aswin Parkunantharan, segment manager business unit legal software at Wolters Kluwer; Ilse de Loof, general counsel at Tank Terminals and ACC Europe board member; and Helena Raulus, head of the joint UK Law Societies Office, lead the discussion at the ACC event.

 

ACC believes that in-house counsel have a unique perspective on legal policy issues and are valuable contributors to policy debates affecting the business world. On December 6, 2019, ACC, along with the European Company Lawyers Association (ECLA) and The Law Society, held the event “Closing the Gap between Artificial Intelligence and Regulatory Challenges“ at the European Parliament to discuss the use of artificial intelligence (AI) from an ethical and legal perspective.  

The event focused on AI, its uses in business and legal fields, how such use should be regulated, and how the EU governing bodies can work with stakeholders to develop a sensible policy approach in this quickly evolving industry. Member of the European Parliament Karen Melchior (Denmark) opened the event with remarks, then was joined by Helena Raulus, head of the joint UK Law Societies Office in Brussels; Aswin Parkunantharan, segment manager business unit legal software at Wolters Kluwer; and Quang-Minh Lepescheux, government affairs director at Microsoft. Ilse de Loof, general counsel of Tank Terminals and ACC Europe board member, moderated the discussion. 

 

Group of professoinals sitting at a long table in an office for an event.

Photo: Audience members listening to the panelists at the European Parliament.  

 

While panelists agreed it is currently difficult to define AI, all agreed there is a need for regulation of AI technologies. MEP Melchior participates in the JURI Committee’s work on AI. The committee is looking at drawing up initiative reports on four areas of AI: an ethical framework, state authority, liability, and intellectual property rights.  

There was a lively discussion of what AI regulation should look like. Panelists noted that there are existing laws that address aspects of AI such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and discrimination laws, but there should also be an ethical framework for AI so that regulation can be agile and evolve.  

Regulation should focus on fairness, transparency, and accountability. Panelists also discussed how liability can be determined when it is sometimes the developer and sometimes the user who is at fault for erroneous results in AI applications.  

MEP Melchior expects the new commission to address AI within the first 100 days of office. With so much attention on such a fast-moving industry, in-house counsel should engage with this issue to advance their company.

About the Author

Mary BlatchMary Blatch is the senior director of advocacy at Association of Corporate Counsel.


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