Do we need a legal framework for artificial intelligence?

This is the reflection that the Council of Europe has entrusted to a working group: the Ad Hoc Committee for Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI), in which the EEEI participates as an observer. The questions are many: do we need a framework? A compelling one? What legal instrument, with what scope, etc.?

These reflections fit into the more general framework of the Council of Europe’s competences, centred on the defence of human rights and the promotion of democracy, and are deployed over a very wide geographic field since the Council brings together 47 states’ members, with more than 830 million nationals. The reflection applies to all potential fields of application of AI but, of course, the one of Justice, which concerns us more particularly, is very sensitive: is the irruption of AI in the judicial world automatically synonymous with increased efficiency, or does it carry risks for the litigant: should we fear the opacity of systems based on “deep learning”?

Should we expect bias in the handling of cases? What becomes of the traditional professions: judges, lawyers… and how will they be impacted by this development? All these questions also concern the justice experts that we are. This is why the EEEI, which has been involved for a long time in the work of the Council through its specialized commission for the efficiency of justice (CEPEJ), is resolutely committed to the activity of the CAHAI, where it currently participates in the finalization of a preparatory document for the Council, which should lay the foundations for the development of the future legal instrument, if that is the path the Council decides to follow.


Robert Ranquet     Vice-president EEEI