What is the AI Act?
The AI Act, or Artificial Intelligence Act, is a flagship legislative initiative of the European Union, designed to strategically frame the development and use of artificial intelligence. This regulation represents a major advance in the harmonization of European standards, aiming to ensure that AI is exploited in an ethical, responsible manner and aligned with fundamental rights. The AI Act establishes a balance between technological innovation and the preservation of ethical values and individual freedoms.
The main objectives of the AI Act
. Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms: The AI Act seeks to ensure that the development and use of AI do not compromise human rights, including privacy, non-discrimination, and the protection of personal data.
. Safety and reliability: The legislative proposal emphasizes the need to develop reliable and safe AI systems, which operate as intended and are resistant to manipulation or errors.
. Transparency and accountability: The act aims to ensure greater transparency in AI decision-making processes, allowing users to understand and challenge decisions made by these systems.
. Promotion of innovation: While focusing on regulation, the AI Act also aims to encourage innovation and maintain Europe’s competitiveness in the field of AI.
What are the 4 levels of risk identified by the AI Act?
1. Unacceptable risk: Prohibition of AI systems that threaten safety and the rights of individuals.
2. High risk: AI systems in critical areas subject to strict requirements.
3. Limited risk: Systems requiring specific transparency obligations.
4. Minimal or no risk: AI systems for free use, such as video games equipped with AI.
These categories determine the levels of surveillance and regulation necessary for each type of AI system.
Who is the AI Act addressed to?
The AI Act, or the European Union’s Artificial Intelligence Act, is addressed to several key groups:
. AI Providers and Developers: Companies and individuals who develop AI systems are directly concerned by the AI Act. This includes technology companies, startups, researchers, and developers working in the field of AI.
. AI Users: Organizations and companies that use AI systems in their operations must also comply with the AI Act. This extends to sectors such as health, finance, transport, and education, where AI is increasingly integrated.
. Regulatory Authorities: National and European regulatory authorities are responsible for implementing and monitoring compliance with the AI Act. Their role is to ensure that the established standards and requirements are respected.
. Consumers and Citizens: Although they are not directly subject to the AI Act, European consumers and citizens are impacted by this legislation, as it aims to protect their rights and safety concerning the use of AI.
. Civil Society Organizations: Human rights advocacy groups, NGOs, and civil society organizations focusing on ethical issues, human rights, and data protection are also concerned by the AI Act, as stakeholders in the debate on the responsible use of AI.
. The AI Act has a broad scope, addressing all actors involved in the AI value chain, from creation to use, through regulation, while aiming to protect the interests of European consumers and citizens.
How to comply with the AI Act using Smart GRC software?
Through Smart GRC’s IT & Cybersecurity Module, ensure your organization’s compliance with the AI Act effectively.
Here are the 10 strategic steps to follow:
1) Mapping AI Systems with Smart GRC: Use the software registry (support assets) to identify among your software which ones use artificial intelligence.
2) Compliance Assessment: Use the IT & Cybersecurity Module to perform a simplified assessment of all AI systems used in your organization. This helps to determine where the AI Act is applicable and identify high-risk systems requiring special attention.
3) Internal Risk Assessment: For AI systems at risk, proceed with a collaborative and thorough Risk Assessment.
4) External Risk Assessment: With the Third-Party Risk Management Module, assess your Third Parties.
5) Risk Mitigation: Integrate specific AI Act control measures into your AI processes and systems: for example, implementing measures of transparency, human oversight, and respect for fundamental rights.
6) Compliance of Policies and Procedures: Adapt or create policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the provisions of the AI Act. Smart GRC helps you document, manage, and disseminate these policies within the organization and ensure their consideration.
7) Training and Awareness: Use Smart GRC’s training features to educate and train your staff on the AI Act’s requirements and how to interact compliantly with AI systems.
8) Regular Monitoring and Audits: Set up regular audits and continuous monitoring with Smart GRC software and ensure that your organization’s practices remain compliant with the AI Act. This includes monitoring the effectiveness of controls and implementing necessary corrections.
9) Compliance Reports: Use Smart GRC’s reporting capabilities to create detailed reports on compliance with the AI Act. These reports are essential for internal documentation and may be necessary for regulatory audits or compliance checks.
10) Continuous Improvement: Use feedback and analyses provided by the IT & Cybersecurity module to continually improve your AI-related practices and stay up-to-date with AI Act developments.
Integrating the AI Act into Smart GRC’s IT & Cybersecurity Module greatly facilitates interoperability with other regulations in computer security and cybersecurity. This integration enriches the user experience by enabling synergy between the different modules of Smart GRC, particularly by avoiding redundancy in compliance management. When specific AI Act requirements are addressed, this can also cover similar aspects in other standards and regulations, such as GDPR, optimizing the effectiveness and consistency of the compliance process. This integrated approach offers a unified and more efficient management of compliance obligations, benefiting from the interoperability of various regulatory and normative requirements within Smart GRC.
What are the penalties for non-compliance with the AI Act?
The importance of compliance with the AI Act is underlined by the severe penalties provided for non-compliance with the standards. These fines, designed to be deterrents, are a crucial element of the legislation, aiming to ensure that AI developers and users strictly adhere to the established guidelines.
. Substantial Fines: Fines for non-compliance can reach significant amounts, reflecting the seriousness with which the EU considers violations of the AI Act regulations. These financial penalties are proportional to the severity of non-compliance, emphasizing the importance of rigorous and responsible application of AI technologies.
. Incentive for Compliance: These financial penalties act as a powerful incentive for companies, encouraging them to invest in compliance. This includes the development of AI systems that not only meet safety and ethical standards but are also transparent and accountable.
. Protection of Rights and Safety: The imposed fines aim to protect individual rights and public safety. They ensure that companies take the potential risks associated with AI use seriously, implementing appropriate monitoring and control mechanisms.
. Clear Message to AI Actors: Penalties for non-compliance send a clear message to AI sector players: negligence and disregard for regulations will not be tolerated. This establishes a framework of accountability and commitment to safe and ethical AI practices.