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Europe’s New AI Act Puts Ethics In the Spotlight

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Datanami – by Alex Woodie

Europe’s New AI Act Puts Ethics In the Spotlight

AI ethics issues such as bias, transparency, and explainability are gaining new importance as the European Union marches towards implementation of the AI Act, which would effectively regulate the use of AI and machine learning technologies across all industries. AI experts say this is a great time for AI users to familiarize themselves with ethical concepts.

The AI Act, which we wrote about last week, was introduced last year and is quickly going through the review process, with implementation possibly as soon as 2023. While the law is still being written, it looks as though the European Commission is ready to take big steps to regulate AI.

For example, the law would set new requirements for the use of AI systems and ban some use cases altogether. So-called high-risk AI systems, such as those used in self-driving cars as well as decision-support systems in education, immigration, and employment, would require users to conduct impact assessments and audits on the AI applications. Certain AI use cases would be closely tracked in a database, and others would require an external auditor to sign off before they could be used.

There’s a lot of demand for interpretability and explainability as part of an MLOps engagement or a data science consulting engagement, says Nick Carrel, the director of data analytics consulting at EPAM Systems, a Newtown, Pennsylvania-based software engineering firm. The EU’s AI Act is also driving companies to seek insight and answers on ethical AI, he says.

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