EU lawmaking in the Artificial Intelligent Age: Act-ification, GDPR mimesis, and regulatory brutality
A few months ago the authors identified, in respective posts that were kindly hosted on this blog, two phenomena observable in recent EU law, namely its ‘act-ification’ and its ‘GDPR mimesis’. The first denoted the tendency of the EU legislator, perhaps affected by its US counterpart, to introduce eponymous ‘Acts’ rather than anonymous, sequentially numbered pieces of legislation. The second aimed to describe the GDPR’s heavy-handed influence on all new pieces of EU law that aim to protect individuals from perceived perils of technology. Before long both trends were vindicated, and are visible, in the Commission’s recent release of a draft Artificial Intelligence (‘AI’) Act. After a discussion of both trends, we introduce a reflection about regulatory brutality and the – apparent – lack of concern from the EU side about legal coherence in domestic law systems.
Act-ification in the Artificial Intelligence Act
The ‘act-ification’ of EU law continues unhindered: The new draft follows the pattern of its predecessors, introducing in a parenthesis a short title with the word ‘Act’ in it. Its full title is ‘Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down harmonised rules on Artificial Intelligence (Artificial Intelligence Act) and amending certain Union legislative acts’. Once again, the Commission deliberately chose, first, to introduce a short title to refer to its legislative initiative, and, second, to include the word ‘Act’ in it instead of, for example, ‘Regulation’, which would have been the obvious choice (see, for example, the GDPR). The draft AI Act is the latest addition to a long series of other EU law ‘Acts’, as outlined in our previous blog post. The authors welcome this development, because of the proximity and the intimacy it creates between EU law and Europeans, and look forward to a point in the hopefully not so distant future where EU law will require Popular Name Tools, as is the case also in US law (where Popular Name Tools, or Tables, are by now necessary, in order to translate the short title given to many laws (e.g. PATRIOT Act or CLOUD Act) into the citations that will help locate them in the correct section of the U.S. Code).Continue reading