Last April, the European Commission presented the Artificial Intelligence Act (AIA), a draft regulation that aims to allow the EU to move forward in the artificial intelligence sector, while preserving its values. The text therefore attempts to respond to the potential abuses of these technologies.

In particular, it provides for a stronger framework for algorithms considered “ high-risk “, including those used to recruit a person or to check his or her solvency. The regulation also includes a special authorisation for facial recognition which will have to be requested each time a device is set up.

EU challenges report

While this project is still in progress, a study by the Centre for Data Innovation has estimated that the regulation could cost businesses in the old continent up to €31 billion over the next five years. It would also lead to a 20% drop in investment.

The think-tank focused particularly on the administrative costs of the AIA. The new obligations are expected to discourage innovation and technology adoption in Europe. Quoted by Euractiv, the report’s author Ben Mueller explains:

‘The Commission has repeatedly claimed that the proposed AI legislation will support growth and innovation in Europe’s digital economy, but a realistic economic analysis suggests that this argument is disingenuous at best.

European startups, which invest in artificial intelligence, would bear the brunt of these measures, analysts say. They risk facing difficulties that their competitors on other continents do not.

This vision of things is widely contested by the European Union. Contacted by our colleagues, a Commission spokesperson believes that the costs “ are largely overestimated ” in this study and that the impact of the regulation is misinterpreted.

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Finally, some experts quoted by Euractiv also point out that the EU must take into account citizens’ concerns about AI. Moreover, if Europe adopts an ambitious scheme, it is possible that it will set an example in regulating these technologies and that other powers will follow suit.