European Agency for AI

What is the problem?

The current regulatory landscape for AI in the EU is fragmented, and concerns have been raised regarding cooperation, coordination and consistent application of EU law.

Who should act?

The European Commission, European Parliament and the European Council should address this in the development of the proposed legislative framework for AI (expected 2021).

The Recommendation

Establish an independent European Union Agency for AI.

The Agency should:

  • Make Recommendations addressed to the European Parliament, the European Council, or the Commission for legislative amendments
  • Identify potential red lines or restrictions for AI development, deploymentand use that violates human rights and/or has significant negative societal impacts
  • Develop and promulgate general guidanceon legal concepts and regulatory issues of AI
  • Setbenchmarks for enforcement
  • Support and advise EU-level institutions, bodies and agencies and national competent authorities in Member Statesto fulfil their ethical and human rights obligations and to protect the rule of law
  • Maintain an AI risk alert system
  • Assist incoordinating the mandates and actions of the national competent authorities of Member States
  • Develop harmonised andobjective criteria for risk assessment and/or conformity assessment
  • Monitor and/or coordinate the evaluation of the operation of conformity assessment and/or certification schemes
  • Cooperate, liaise, exchange informationpromote public dialogue, best practices and training activities
  • Ensure complementarity and synergy between its activities and other Community programmes and initiatives,
  • Promote the adoption of regulatory sandboxes
  • Promote the European Union’s AI approach through international cooperation

Key Considerations

In creating and/or implementing the European Union Agency for AI, key considerations are:

  • Making the Agency operational as soon as possible, even if on a provisional or pilot basis.
  • Strength of the underpinning legislative framework (establishing the Agency and its mandate, and setting clear boundaries and scope)
  • Ability to complement and support (not duplicate) work of existing regulatory bodies
  • Genuine independence and impartiality (e.g., guaranteed funding)
  • Ability to adapt to reflect technological developments, changing societal needs and expectations
  • A structure that incorporates the right competencies and expertise, including multi-stakeholder representation from diverse backgrounds.

SHERPA Contribution

SHERPA Terms of Reference for a European Agency for AI developed using research and expert consultations, including interviews, a focus group, and feedback from the SHERPA Stakeholder Board.