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European AI regulation needs to be innovation-friendly

17 June 2020

Earlier this year, the EU Commission published three White Papers as an indication of upcoming EU-level regulation on Artificial Intelligence (AI). The intention is to create an overarching regulatory framework that enables a unified and single European AI market across all member states. Due to this, TietoEVRY today announces its position to advance the industrialisation of AI and promote an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset for increased AI investments and accelerated adoption of AI.

Recognising that AI applications are fundamentally different to Software and IT applications, the EU’s regulation will include requirements for the application of AI, such as standards for data quality and traceability, ensuring non-discrimination and the protection of privacy. It will also include specific obligations such as record-keeping and reporting which will extend Europe’s existing safety and liability regulation.

The Commission proposes a risk-based approach, whereby new regulation would only apply to AI applications that are considered high-risk. The Commission proposes to single out certain type of applications, such as remote biometric identification but does not yet propose any concrete regulatory solutions in this regard.

As a Nordic forerunner within this field, TietoEVRY has been part of the EU level discussions and is today publishing its position with regards to this important process.

Christian Guttmann, Global Head of AI and Data, TietoEVRY

 “While the AI market is growing rapidly worldwide, we can see that several barriers are hindering the development in Europe. EU must now ensure predictability along with clear and forward-looking communication, so that industries and public bodies will increase investment into AI technology and adopt AI quicker and more. It is still possible for Europe to become a leader in industry-focused applications and new emerging technologies. This can be achieved by utilizing and understanding the value of data as well as create incentives to innovate and share AI methods and data,” says Christian Guttmann, Global Head of AI and Data, TietoEVRY.

TietoEVRY’s standpoint regarding the EU level regulation of Artificial Intelligence is that:

  • Any regulation on AI should be heavily informed by applications and use cases. An attempt to create a top-down preamptive regulatory framework would likely jeopardize innovative opportunities.
  • The EU’s regulatory framework should facilitate a culture of utilizing and understanding the value of AI and data as well as create incentives for companies to innovate and effectively share AI and data.
  • The right balance should be struck between the protection of privacy and enabling innovation in sectors where the use of anonymized data presents significant opportunities for European society.
  • The EU should weigh the high risks of any application against the high opportunities and benefits that it presents for society.
  • The main pitfall of the proposed risk-based approach is the uncertainty (from investors’ point of view) as to which AI applications will eventually fall into the heavily regulated high-risk category.
  • The Commission’s decision to single out biometric identification and not to propose any regulatory solutions in this regard increases the uncertainty and risks from the investors’ point of view. TietoEVRY encourages the EU to adopt a clear position.
  • TietoEVRY encourages the Commission to integrate into the upcoming regulatory framework the use of regulatory sandboxes, through which companies can test innovative AI solutions.

TietoEVRY welcomes and encourages broader discussion on how to advance the development and adoption of specific AI applications based on the experience gathered from concrete projects in our daily operations.

Download and read the report from TietoEVRY. Let us know your thoughts under the hashtag #TietoEVRYAI.

For additional information, please contact: 
TietoEVRY Newsdesk, +358 40 570 4072, 

TietoEVRY creates digital advantage for businesses and society. We are a leading digital services and software company with local presence and global capabilities. Our Nordic values and heritage steer our success.

Headquartered in Finland, TietoEVRY employs around 24 000 experts globally. The company serves thousands of enterprise and public sector customers in more than 90 countries. TietoEVRY’s annual turnover is approximately EUR 3 billion and its shares are listed on the NASDAQ in Helsinki and Stockholm as well as on the Oslo Børs.

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Christian Guttmann

Head of Global AI & Data

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