The European AI Forum represents nine national AI associations across the European Union. We aim to set the agenda on how AI is approached in Europe, both in terms of policy and entrepreneurship, and thus continuously work on promoting trustworthy and innovative “AI made in Europe”.
We express our support for the recently published position paper by our colleagues from Hub France IA concerning the EU AI Act and to promote their call for a balanced and proportional approach.
Without any doubt, the diverse and innovative European AI ecosystem has the potential to become a significant player in the global market. Thus, we support the European Union’s vision and call for “AI Made in Europe” that follows European values and protects the fundamental rights of each citizen.
Yet, to safeguard the potential of “AI made in Europe”, the industry needs a flexible, feasible, understandable, and future-oriented regulatory framework. While we believe that the adopted General Approach by the Council of the European Union did introduce significant improvements in comparison to the original proposal by the European Commission, we unfortunately still identify various issues that could possibly have negative effects on our AI ecosystem. Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity and highlight some of the concerns that our colleagues from Hub France IA brought forward with regards to current discussion in the European Parliament:
- The risk of overregulation of AI systems with little or no risk to society and individuals can potentially lead to a loss of competitiveness and innovation and thus harm the goal of “AI made in Europe”. While the European Commission estimated five to fifteen percent of all AI systems to be classified as high risk AI, according to ANNEX III of the EU AI Act, recent surveys among start-ups2 show that such a number could be as high as fifty percent. The consequence of that would be especially tough for start-ups, as many of them will not be able to bear the additional costs introduced by the new obligations. As a consequence, we call a reevaluation of the current requirements that classify AI systems as high risk use cases under ANNEX III. We propose a focus on specific AI systems that potentially pose significant risks for individuals, instead of including rather general use cases.
- We welcome the clarifications made in the General Approach by the Council, nonetheless, the EU AI Act still lacks clear and understandable definitions. In our humble opinion, we believe that the vagueness of some terms (e.g., Articles 3(1), 3(1b), 23, 52) have the potential to create more legal uncertainty and differing interpretations by member states.
- The introduction of General Purpose AI (GPAI) by the French Presidency to the AI Act has inevitably enlarged the scope of the regulatory framework. The European AI Forum believes that regulating GPAI is, to some extent, a reasonable idea. However, by doing so in the EU AI Act, said decision is followed by severe consequences for the European AI Ecosystem. Recent surveys show that almost half of the questioned start-ups classify their AI systems as GPAI and thus would also have to comply with the proposed regulation, as they automatically classify as high risk AI.
The European AI Forum strongly believes that GPAI must be excluded from the category of high risk AI according to ANNEX III of the AI Act as the effect of such undertaking was never researched in the Commission’s initial impact assessments.
To conclude, the European AI Forum welcomes the work of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament in their mission to create an innovative and future-oriented regulatory framework for the European AI ecosystem. As we represent a significant share of the industry, we believe that the European Parliament now has the opportunity to improve the regulatory framework and introduce understandable and clear definitions, appropriate criteria for the high risk use case classification, and innovative measurements for start-ups and SMEs to promote “AI Made in Europe”.