Interesting article on the potential GDPR effects for the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in the EU. As the article alludes to, GDPR Art. 22 will restrict decisions made by the "automated processing" of personal data, or in other words decisions made by computers using AI. Specifically Art. 22 states
"The data subject shall have the right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing, including profiling, which ... significantly affects him or her,"
with some exceptions. What the article forgets to mention is that current EU data protection law already covers this. Section 6B(1) of the Irish Data Protection Acts states
"a decision which ... significantly affects a data subject may not be based solely on [automatic processing] of personal data which is intended to evaluate [e.g.] his or her performance at work, creditworthiness, reliability or conduct,"
again with some exceptions. So, the potential legal conflict between data protection law and AI decisions that cannot be easily explained is probably an issue for right now, not one that can wait until the GDPR comes into effect in May 2018.
On a final note, interesting to see DARPA mentioned as the one example of a US research centre looking at explainable AI decisions, but most readers will probably miss the fact that DARPA stands for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency - the US military's research lab for new weapons systems. Good to see that the US military is interested in being able to explain decisions made by AI in its weapons systems.
Silicon Valley and the EU have never really seen eye to eye, but a recent regulation – that means citizens have the right to demand an explanation to an algorithmic decision by 2018 – could drive the two to legal war.