Governments Ask the Public for Their Opinion on AI

In this post:

  • The government of Ireland has asked people for their opinion on artificial intelligence since the country adopted new rules.
  • The EU’s Artificial Intelligence Act was formally adopted on May 21 after the parliament passed it in March.
  • The EU’s AI Act demands a ban on dangerous AI models and requires risk assessments for high-risk models.

The government of Ireland has asked for public opinion on implementing the European Union’s Artificial Intelligence Act. The EU’s AI Act was officially adopted on May 21.

Dara Calleary, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation of Ireland, has asked for the views of the public and businesses on artificial intelligence. The laws were introduced after a years-long process for governing AI and protecting people from the risks the technology might have.

Irish Government Seeks Public Opinion

The EU said it wants to promote innovation. The rules adopted will support the decision by balancing promoting innovation and protecting citizens’ rights. AI tools that are considered dangerous for people will not be allowed. 

Also read: Europe’s AI Act Gets Final Approval With up to $38M Fines

On the other hand, the makers of the tools that are classified as high-risk will be subject to conducting a risk assessment. This is to ensure that their tools are safe and comply with the law before they are introduced to the public. Calleary said in a statement that,

“We want views on how the Act might operate with existing digital markets, services, and infrastructure and to consider how it can enhance Ireland’s position as a leading Digital Economy.” Source.

The EU’s AI Act puts strict bans on using artificial intelligence for prognostic policing. It also bans AI systems that can be used to deduce an individual’s sexual orientation, race, or religion.

Businesses Will Bear More Compliance Weight

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment in Ireland is responsible for implementing the AI Act. Restrictions on banned AI systems must come into force within six months, and penalties and enforcement actions must be applied within twelve months.

Governments Ask the Public for Their Opinion on AI
Aerial view of the European Parliament in Brussels. Source.

The EU AI Act brings significant obligations to businesses, especially small and medium-sized (SMEs) ones. Businesses now have to comply with strict guidelines on risk management, monitoring, and transparency of AI systems. State Minister Calleary said,

“Our national AI strategy advocates the use of AI through a people-centered, ethical approach to its development, adoption, and use.”

The regulatory requirements could significantly burden small businesses, as they may lack the implementation resources. SMEs will have to meet comprehensive requirements and establish effective risk management systems. They will also have to take other steps, such as human oversight measures and the cybersecurity of the systems.

The compliance requirements include extensive documentation, reporting, and providing the technical aspects of the AI models. Together, all these factors can be an administrative burden for small businesses.

Government Assesses Implementation Approaches for AI Act

The Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment is assessing alternative approaches to implementing the Act. The government said the exercise is to determine the optimal national structure for effective enforcement of the Act’s provisions.

Calleary said that the ambitious timeline for implementing the rules calls for a collective approach, and he would encourage all parties to participate in this public consultation on AI.

Also read: EU AI Act Faces Backlash From Tech Industry Stakeholders

The Act provides some exemptions for applications for national security, open-source models for personal use, scientific R&D, defense, and AI systems research. Each member state is required to establish a Regulatory Sandbox for AI within 24 months to support innovation.

The Act was approved in March this year. On the day following its approval, the European Commission asked Google, Bing, TikTok, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, and X to provide details on how they are handling the risks of generative AI. 

Cryptopolitan reporting by Aamir Sheikh

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