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The Law of AI

Jotwell Review by Margot Kaminski: Michael Veale and Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius, Demystifying the Draft EU Artificial Intelligence Act 22(4). Computer L. Rev. Int’l 97-112 (2021). [h/t Mary Whisner]

“The question of whether new technology requires new law is central to the field of law and technology. From Frank Easterbrook’s “law of the horse” to Ryan Calo’s law of robotics, scholars have debated the what, why, and how of technological, social, and legal co-development and construction. Given how rarely lawmakers create new legal regimes around a particular technology, the EU’s proposed “AI Act” (Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council Laying Down Harmonised Rules on Artificial Intelligence and Amending Certain Union Legislative Acts) should put tech-law scholars on high alert. Leaked early this spring and officially released in April 2021, the AI Act aims to establish a comprehensive European approach to AI risk-management and compliance, including bans on some AI systems. In Demystifying the Draft EU Artificial Intelligence Act, Michael Veale and Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius provide a helpful and evenhanded entrée into this “world-first attempt at horizontal regulation of AI systems.” One the one hand, they admire the Act’s “sensible” aspects, including its risk-based approach, prohibitions of certain systems, and attempts at establishing public transparency. On the other, they note its “severe weaknesses” including its reliance on “1980s product safety regulation” and “standardisation bodies with no fundamental rights experience.” For U.S. (and EU!) readers looking for a thoughtful overview and contextualization of a complex and somewhat inscrutable new legal system, this Article brings much to the table at a relatively concise length. Continue reading “The Law of AI”

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