European regulations in AI

Megaklis Vasilakis / November 5, 2021 / AI ethics

New European regulations and benchmarking will play a big role in the area of Artificial Intelligence and tech advances across Europe, setting the minimum requirements for quality tools. The field is moving fast and new advancement in research and software arise almost daily. It is of utmost importance that in order to see great advancements in the field of AI, regulations will have to follow new practices and advancements both in academia and outside it but do so in a way that does not hinder advancement. Let’s see more details on the matter.

EU Initiatives

In February alongside the vision of Europe, digital future and its strategy from for data, European Commission published a white paper regarding AI. The white paper discussed two building blocks (as they are referred to) for the AI ecosystem, namely the “ecosystem of excellence” and the “ecosystem of trust”. The ecosystem of excellence focuses on policy and the development of R&D partnerships and cooperation between European states and organizations. The ecosystem of trust focuses on regulations and aims to create a regulatory framework that will promote trustworthiness of artificial intelligence. The latter aims to regulate companies that deploy high-risk applications of AI within the EU.

How can we tackle lack of trust?

Newer advances in AI focus on the transparency of models through explainability. A new rise of best practices dictates that models should be able to interpret their results and clearly communicate the patterns that made them conclude in a specific result. In such scenarios their risk of harm can also be better measured through interoperability. Algorithms should be able to give insights on the damage their decisions can cause, so those who consume the information will be able to assess situations confidently.

Being compliant with regulations can get expensive. Can we solve this?

Regulations are expensive. Small firms have a problem finding the capital needed to move fast in regulated markets, let alone the energy needed for the bureaucracy. This already makes Europe lack behind other tech markets and ecosystems (no general tech giants, no tech innovation, no infrastructure). EU is already a hard and fragmented market, so let’s not make it harder by adding regulations.


As AI grows and becomes a bigger part of everyday life, it will be called upon to solve harder and riskier problems. Smart software will shape our lives in the future. Regulations will arise one way or another. The EU is leading the way on the first set of European rules for Artificial Intelligence. Pushing for best practices is good, as long as they are not obstacles to innovation and advancement. The EU is already lacking behind other markets in tech. A good mix of regulations with the right environment can bring great results but is it of course hard. SMEs should be encouraged to pursue tech advancements with the right tools so that they can move fast and produce value.

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