NEWS22 April 2021

EU AI reforms ‘impossible’ without professionalised IT industry

AI Europe GDPR News Privacy Technology UK

UK – European Union reforms to artificial intelligence (AI) regulations will require “a huge amount of work” to professionalise the industry, BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, has warned.

EU data privacy abstract image

The proposed regulations, which were announced on Wednesday 21st April, will ban AI systems that are considered a “clear threat to the safety, livelihoods and rights of people” and will impose stricter rules on the use of biometrics, such as facial recognition.

Companies that fail to abide by the rules, should they be enacted, would face a fine of up to 6% of global turnover. The AI regulations are expected to be put in place within the next few years.

BCS said that companies should begin to prepare for the rules now, especially in staff training and development, and warned that British companies that trade with the EU would still need to abide by the reforms once they come into force.

The rules directly prohibit the use of AI for indiscriminate surveillance and social scoring, BCS added, and would require mandatory third-party audits of data and quality management systems for AI use in high-risk industries, including education, recruitment and financial services.

Dr Bill Mitchell, director of policy at BCS, said: “There will be a huge amount of work to do to professionalise large sections of the economy ready for this sweeping legislation.

“These ambitious plans to make AI work for the good of society will be impossible to deliver without a fully professionalised AI industry.

“Those with responsibility for adopting and managing AI will need to ensure their systems comply with these new regulations, as well as those designing and developing these systems.”