Gov’t to review EU legislation as it mulls local AI law

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By Robert Andre Emmanuel

[email protected]

As artificial intelligence becomes part of the mainstay of human life, the government said that it is planning to take a closer review of the European Parliament’s legislation on artificial intelligence as it hopes to craft its own legislation in the future.

On March 13, the European Union formally adopted the EU Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act) with reported plans to amend other pieces of legislation and pass additional laws—such as one which will facilitate redress claims by consumers for harm caused by AI.

Yesterday, the Cabinet announced that the Attorney General and his team were reviewing the legislation to see how best to implement such regulations in Antigua and Barbuda.

“The purpose of securing a copy of the law passed by the European Parliament is to examine it for the kinds of guidelines that might be spelled out in this law.

“When you’re passing a law in a place like Europe, having many experts, what you get sometimes is the best that could possibly be produced but it appears that since they are the first to have a comprehensive law governing artificial intelligence and its uses, that it would be very helpful to Antigua and Barbuda that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” Ambassador Lionel Hurst, the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff told reporters yesterday.

Speaking at the post-Cabinet press conference, Hurst added that the government is also going to look at other countries which are taking similar approaches to regulating AI.

Some of the countries currently taking proactive measures to address artificial intelligence include the United States, Japan, and Brazil.

Additionally, Hurst said there will be some assistance coming from multilateral organisations “to ensure that there’s a kind of a uniformity throughout the world that will not result in criminal activity.”

The push to regulate AI comes as the University of the West Indies Five Island Campus is one month away from its AI conference which sees experts and scholars in the field of artificial intelligence discuss the potential benefits and future dangers of the technology.

UWI Five Islands currently has a department specialising in artificial intelligence studies and there has been some push by education officials to introduce artificial intelligence in schools.

Meanwhile, when asked about whether the government will seek to coordinate with regional counterparts to develop a uniform AI law across the entire region, Hurst suggested that regional governments seemed to await how Antigua will handle the situation.

“I think they all want Antigua and Barbuda to go first; when I learned to swim, they there were those who I knew could swim better, and I wanted to see them jump over the edge of the pier, into the deep waters and I think that’s what is happening with the legislation … they want to see if Antigua and Barbuda can express in clear terms in its Parliament,” Hurst said.

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