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Home » Articles » Artificial Intelligence Act: The Effect On Legal Space – Mosimi Akinlabi 

Artificial Intelligence Act: The Effect On Legal Space – Mosimi Akinlabi 

EU Artificial Intellligence Act

Artificial Intelligence Act: The Effect On Legal Space

Artificial Intelligence(AI) has started influencing many parts of our lives. AI systems have the potential to become one of the most powerful technologies in existence. For this reason, some form of regulation is unavoidable. European Union(EU) is taking on a pioneering role to ensure that obligation is placed on those that intend to put in the market high-risk AI systems regardless of whether they are based in the EU or a third country.

In this article, we provide you with the key changes the Act is implementing, the impact of the Act on the legal space and how lawyers have addressed the changes made by the AI Act. What are the next steps around and beyond the AI Act?

What is in the Act?

The EU Artificial Intelligence Act seeks to protect people’s rights while interacting with AI systems. The Act classifies AI according
to their risk. They are:

● unacceptable risk
● high risk
● lighter risk and
● minimal risk

Unacceptable risks in AI are prohibited(Title II, Article 5). They are social scoring systems and
manipulative AI. These systems employ deceptive techniques to exploit vulnerabilities related to age, disability, or socio-economic circumstances. Biometric categorisation systems are also prohibited. This is because they infer sensitive attributes such as race, sexual orientation, and political opinions that can be exploited.

High-risk AI systems (Article 6) require additional requirements. They are systems used as a safety
component and must undergo a third-party conformity assessment. (Article 825) High-risk AI providers must establish a risk management system throughout the AI system’s lifecycle, conduct data governance, draw up technical documentation and design their systems for record-keeping.

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Limited-risk AI systems are subjected to lighter transparency obligations. The providers of limited-risk
AI systems must ensure end-users know they are interacting with AI such as chatbots and deepfakes.

Minimal-risk AI systems are unregulated. They are AI-enabled video games and spam filters.

Effect on the legal space

The legal profession is an area where AI is set to have a significant impact. The use of AI’s predictive analytics capabilities has the potential to transform legal decision-making, by assisting lawyers in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of their cases. Also, the review of legal documents is overwhelming. AI-powered document review platforms leverage technologies like machine learning to automate the document review process. These systems analyze large volumes of documents, identify relevant information, and flag sensitive documents for review by human lawyers. 

Marco Fehr, Founder & AI Lawyer at Fehr Lega says startups within the Act’s scope must determine the risk categories, as defined by the Act, that apply to the AI systems they are developing. In case these systems fall under the “high-risk“ category, the next step is to get familiar with the requirements that will be enforced in the future. Future compliance with the Act ideally begins during the planning and design phase of an AI system. 

Nicoleta Cherciu, Managing Partner at Cherciu&Co, says the Act requires developers of AI systems to implement safeguards for the protection of individuals’ fundamental rights while prohibiting, at the same time, certain AI use cases. Thus, we can also think of it as an act that promotes AI governance and safety by design, not only in the EU but globally. 

Conclusion

The AI Act cannot be judged in a vacuum and can only be expressed through a medium. This provides the avenue through which AI systems are categorized by risk levels to safeguard the existing fundamental rights of users. 

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You have learned why the AI Act was enacted. You have also learned how the implementation of the AI Act affects the legal space. However, at the international level, the European Commission and other EU institutions will work with multinational organizations to promote the development and adoption of rules that are compatible with the requirements of the AI Act. 


About Author

I am Mosimi. I use words as a canvas to simplify complex real world problems.

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