Aurora Universities support the concerns, statements and recommendations provided by The Guild regarding the proposal of the European Commission for the Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act).
The proposal for the AI Act was published in April 2021 and is being discussed by the European Parliament and Council of the EU. The Act describes harmonised rules on the use of AI and may impose a burden on research and researchers. The statement and recommendations by The Guild call upon the European Commission to also meaningfully engage academic researchers and other research actors in future monitoring and amending processes of the Act.
Main concerns deal with 1) the AI approach attempting to regulate AI systems while not banning some practices, 2) defining AI too broadly, thereby encompassing non-AI technologies and not being future-proof, 3) the additional burden to EU research grant applicants as they already have to provide information on potential ethical risks, and 4) the consequences of unharmonised interpretation and harmonisation across EU and EEA member states.
Recommendations include a call to 1) establish a high-level expert group of academic researchers to advise on amending the body text or annexe of the AI Act, 2) setting up regulatory frameworks enabling banning jeopardizing practices, 3) ensure a harmonized implementation of the AI Act across the EU, 4) ensure avoiding an overall prohibition of some AI systems, and 5) ensure that universities can act as ‘regulatory sandboxes’ and can test AI systems in safe environments, e.g. by supporting research projects on the concepts introduced by the AI Act and the compliance to the Act.
Aurora will share and discuss these concerns with relevant stakeholders and policy and decision-makers at national and European levels.
 The Guild of European research-intensive universities. The Guild sets recommendations for the AI act. Weblink: https://www.the-guild.eu/news/2021/the-guild-sets-recommendations-for-the-ai-act.html
 Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down harmonized rules on artificial intelligence (artificial intelligence act) and amending certain union legislative acts. Com/2021/206 final. Weblink: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/txt/?uri=celex%3a52021pc0206