Bitkom on the EU Council's proposals for the AI Act

Berlin, 6 Dezember 2022 - With the AI Act, the EU Commission wants to create a uniform legal framework for the use of artificial intelligence in Europe. Today, the Council of the European Union will adopt its general approach on the dossier. Susanne Dehmel, Member of the Bitkom Executive Board, states:

"With its amendments to the AI Act, the Council of the European Union has improved crucial aspects of the Commission's draft. However, there is still a danger that an excessive focus on risks will slow down AI development in Europe. Artificial intelligence is a technology that is of decisive importance for our future competitiveness. Two thirds of companies in Germany see AI primarily as an opportunity. This means that the AI Act has an important role to play with regard to the competitiveness of the European economy and our future prosperity.

Bitkom welcomes the fact that the Council has tightened up the definition of AI systems. It must be ensured that only those systems are regulated that pose new risks due to AI-specific characteristics. However, the risk classification remains too vague. For the EU Commission's risk-based approach to be successful, it must be precisely recorded where a high risk arises and how it is to be delimited. In this context, use cases must not be classified in a general way, but an assessment of the risk related to the concrete application must be carried out. Even with the planned additional regulation for systems with many possible uses ("general purpose AI"), such as image or speech recognition, many open questions remain. Here, the focus should be on promoting cooperation between all those involved in the development of an AI system in order to achieve the goal of minimising risk.

In the upcoming trialogue of Council, Parliament and Commission, the present proposal should be made even more practicable. This should not lead to contradictions with existing regulations and thus to new uncertainties, because in areas such as medical devices or finance, the AI Regulation already complements existing comprehensive regulation."