Digiges - Regulation of artificial intelligence

Translation of today’s announcement on the topic of A.I. regulation by Digitale Gesellschaft (EN: Digital Society, FR: Société Numérique), a Swiss umbrella organization for digital rights, of which Opendata.ch is a member.

We have been accepted into the Council of Europe Committee on Artificial Intelligence and will make proposals for improvement to the member states: We demand #transparency provisions, #administrative sanctions and a #monitoring authority.

By David Sommer on 14.02.2023

In January, the Digital Society was accepted as an observer in the Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAI) of the Council of Europe. As an observer, we will follow the negotiations and make proposals for improvement to the voting member states, including Switzerland. We call for sufficient transparency provisions, effective administrative sanctions and a state monitoring and advisory authority.

The Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAI) of the Council of Europe is currently negotiating a legal framework for the regulation of artificial intelligence, which will also apply to Switzerland. The framework will set out basic guidelines for the 46 member states on how to deal with artificial intelligence, and will be made available for voluntary signature by other stakeholders.

Following the publication of our position paper on the regulation of Automated Decision-Making Systems, Digitale Gesellschaft applied for an observer position in the CAI and was accepted in January 2023. This will allow us to follow the negotiations, and make improvement suggestions to voting member states.

The committee decided to publish the current state of negotiations on a legal framework, the so called “revised zero draft”. This step was taken after past versions of the document found their way into the public domain without permission. We welcome the fact that a broader public debate on the document is now possible. The details are not yet set in stone and - with future input from Digitale Gesellschaft - will continue to be hotly debated.

In this context, Digitale Gesellschaft calls for

  • A sufficient commitment to transparency provisions so that the use and effects of ADM systems in both the public and private sectors can be assessed. Effects include not only immediate effects on individuals, but also long-term effects, such as socio-economic effects for individuals and social groups as well as society. It should also be possible to shed light on the potentially emerging shadow worlds of almost completely automated administrative infrastructures.
  • A call for turnover-based administrative sanctions for private companies, so that violations cannot be budgeted for. Likewise, a basic product liability is to apply, so that risks in the small-scale cannot be completely eliminated.
  • The respective establishment of a state monitoring and advisory authority, which, with an interdisciplinary composition of experts and in cooperation with civil society organisations, monitors the rapid development of ADMS technologies, pronounces sanctions in the event of violations of regulatory requirements and orchestrates long-term studies.

Digitale Gesellschaft is represented in the CAI by David Sommer and Tanja Klankert. This was made possible by the generous support of the European Digital Rights (EDRi) Association, which is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, and the company Zühlke, which is making staff available for this purpose.

For more information on the regulation of artificial intelligence, please see our dossier.

Digitale Gesellschaft stands up for our freedoms in a networked world. By becoming a member of the non-profit organisation or a donor, you can support the work in the long term or sponsor it online. Thank you very much!

About the Author: David Sommer (PhD) is interested in social developments, privacy and machine learning. Recently, he has focused on ADM systems and their impact in practice.

Translated by DeepL, with some minor corrections.

This will be the topic of discussion on Saturday, February 25 at the Winterkongress event of Digiges. See: