9 October 2019

AI governance: theoretical and practical implications of EU “regulation” on AI


In April 2019, the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) published a first set of Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI. These will now be piloted by public and private organisations across Europe until early 2020, with the aim to understand, inter alia, to which extent these should be tailored to different sectors and use cases. In the meantime, questions arise whether the implementation of such guidelines by companies and other entities can create legally enforceable rights. Moreover, several voices are questioning the role that such guidelines can play as a complement to existing regulations, arguing that, instead, more tangible duties should be introduced through “hard law”. In June 2019, the same Expert Group complemented its guidelines with AI policy recommendations, indicating a number of areas where such hard law may be desirable, which are expected to inspire potential regulatory action by the new Commission.

This seminar will discuss the AI governance measures adopted in the EU – in particular the Ethics Guidelines and Policy Recommendations mentioned above – and whether such measures are appropriate to meet the concerns raised by AI. It will then be discussed whether any (and, if so, which) concrete legal implications the implementation of ethics guidelines will have on businesses and whether this may open the way to new forms of litigation. Particular focus will be given to the impact on day-to-day compliance in selected business sectors, and to the legal claims that companies and other entities may face by private and public parties.

  • Joris van Hoboken (Professor of law at VUB, LSTS) - Chair
  • Daniel Schoenberger (Head of Legal Switzerland & Austria at Google Switzerland GmbH) 
  • Francesco Pili (Associate at Van Bael & Bellis)
  • Nathalie Smuha (Assistant lecturer and Researcher FWO Fellowship at KU Leuven)
  • Daniel Leufer  (Mozilla Fellow, Artificial intelligence policy fellow at Access Now)

Time: 12:00 - 14:00 (lunch is included)


12.00-12.30 lunch

12.30-12.40 welcome by the Chair

12.40-13.30 discussion among the panellists

13.30-14.00 Q&A

Venue: U-Residence, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050, Brussel (Access also via Generaal Jacqueslaan 271, 1050 Brussels)

Registration: The event is free to attend, but due to limited capacity, registration is required.  For any problems with online registration, please contact info@brusselsprivacyhub.eu. Having difficulty accessing the registration form on your mobile device? Use this link.


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Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Pleinlaan 2 • 1050 Brussels




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