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Artificial Intelligence

6 May 2024

AI Act: Harnessing AI Safely and Responsibly

The European Union, with its groundbreaking AI Act, has taken an ambitious path to ensure that the evolution of artificial intelligence progresses in tandem with safety, ethics, and respect for fundamental rights.

How does the new regulation help steer towards responsible use of AI? And how can we navigate these regulatory complexities, ensuring that innovation not only makes its mark but is always responsible and inclusive?

The unveiling of generative artificial intelligence, marked by the introduction of ChatGPT in November 2022, sparked two contrasting reactions: enthusiasm and apprehension.

While there’s excitement about the immense potential of artificial intelligence systems in our lives and professional spheres, there’s also apprehension and concern regarding the potential negative impacts on individuals and businesses due to improper use of these powerful technologies.

The AI Act, implemented by the European Union to regulate the use of artificial intelligence, represents the culmination of an extensive effort to balance the rapid pace of innovation with universal ethical principles.

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From the OECD to the United Nations: Transforming artificial intelligence into an opportunity, not a risk

The OECD Principles were published in 2019, yet they stand as a cornerstone among AI regulations, with foundations so robust that they remain relevant today.

These principles advocate for innovative and reliable AI usage, respecting human rights and democratic values:

Inclusive growth, sustainable development, and well-being
● Human values and fairness
● Transparency and explainability
● Robustness and security
● Responsibility: Organizations and individuals involved in AI are responsible for its proper functioning, in line with the aforementioned principles

In addition to these principles centered around humans, there are clear recommendations provided to governments concerning AI:

● Investing in research and development
● Fostering a digital ecosystem
● Creating a supportive political environment
● Building human capabilities and preparing for workforce transformation
● International cooperation for reliable AI.

This work has demonstrated the need to shape a stable policy environment at the international level to foster trust in and adoption of AI in society.
(OECD Principles)

System administrator upgrading firewall system in order to maintain security stability.

The United Nations has also initiated a series of activities related to artificial intelligence, establishing the UN Advisory Body.

This UN Advisory Group on Artificial Intelligence, was created to explore ways to align and strengthen global AI governance while fully respecting people and the planet.

Comprising 32 experts from relevant disciplines worldwide, this body aims to provide diverse perspectives and options on how AI can be regulated for the benefit of humanity.

One of the initial achievements resulting from the efforts of the Advisory Body is the release of a report titled “Interim Report: Governing AI for Humanity,” focusing on enhancing the international governance of AI.

The report underscores the necessity for regular evaluations of AI advancements, alignment of regulations, and governance strategies. It advocates for global collaboration concerning talent, accessibility to computing resources, and responsible sharing of open-source models.

Additionally, it highlights the significance of risk monitoring, incident reporting, and coordinated emergency responses.

This technology cries out for governance, not merely to address the challenges and risks but to ensure we harness its potential in ways that leave no one behind“.
(UN Advisory Body)

Governments across the globe have been proactive, with most countries implementing national investment strategies in AI.

According to the OECD, there have been 209 AI regulations developed between 2017 and 2023, primarily focusing on sectors such as healthcare, transportation, and energy. These strategies are in tandem with growing concerns about risk, ethics, and accountability.

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The EU's AI Act revolutionizing the landscape

On March 13, 2024, the European Union made a significant announcement with the release of the Artificial Intelligence Act, marking the first-ever comprehensive legal framework on AI.

This landmark legislation addresses AI risks and positions Europe as a global leader on this crucial issue.

The text is currently undergoing formal adoption and translation processes. The AI Act will become effective 20 days after its publication and will be fully applicable within two years.

The EU’s AI regulation sets clear requirements and obligations for companies involved in AI development and operation. Additionally, it aims to alleviate administrative and financial burdens, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The objective is to harmonize the principles of ethical development, termed “Ethical AI,” with the identification of usage risks across various domains.

The regulatory framework delineates four levels of risk, accommodating all existing and prospective AI systems.

The EU underscores that certain AI systems pose risks necessitating mitigation to prevent adverse outcomes and instill trust in artificial intelligence.

Encouragingly, the majority of AI systems presently deployed in the EU fall under the low-risk category.

However, this doesn’t warrant complacency, particularly concerning broad-reaching services influencing individuals’ lives, employed by public institutions, involving personal data, or serving functions with significant social or national security implications.

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Almawave's Strategy: Ensuring Powerful and Secure AI in Compliance with the AI Act

The publication of the AI Act has raised numerous questions regarding the appropriate use of artificial intelligence.

Is it possible to reconcile the vast potential offered by this technology with the fundamental principles of human rights, ethics, and respect for the planet?

This is the significant challenge that lies ahead of us.

A challenge that Almawave immediately embraced without compromises.

The AIWave platform and all of the company’s artificial intelligence-based services are inherently AI Act compliant because they were conceived from the outset to fully align with the Data Act, privacy regulations, and the AI Act.

In addition to these issues, Almawave has always maintained a specific focus on security and governance.

The AI Act, in particular, emphasizes the creation of a reliable framework to ensure transparency in the use of artificial intelligence and clear identification of content generated by AI systems, where possible.

Almawave’s technological approach consistently adheres to the boundaries set by regulations through a Security & Privacy by Design approach.

How does Almawave ensure compliance with these principles and regulations?

  • Data classification and categorization based on sensitivity, assessing risks.
  • Identification of data elements containing sensitive information such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII), financial data, etc.
  • Secure data storage with encryption, robust algorithms, and access controls to protect sensitive information.
  • Anonymization techniques to safeguard sensitive data. Identification and elimination (or encryption) of PII.
  • Access controls for authorized personnel based on roles (RBAC) or attributes (ABAC) following the principle of least privilege to reduce the risk of unauthorized access.
  • Use of secure data transfer protocols when sharing sensitive information.

As emphasized by Almawave CEO Valeria Sandei: “There is no inherently good or bad technology. There is a conscious use of technology and an ethical framework within which it can operate.”

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