BRUSSELS: The European Commission on Wednesday proposed rules that would make it easier for individuals and companies to sue makers of drones, robots and other products equipped with artificial intelligence software for damages.

The AI ​​Liability Directive aims to stop the growing use of AI-enabled products and services, as well as the tainting of national regulations in the 27 countries of the European Union.

According to the draft rules, victims can seek compensation for harm caused to their life, property, health and privacy due to the fault or omission of the supplier, developer or user of artificial intelligence technology, or for discrimination in the employment process using artificial intelligence.

“We want victims of harm caused by artificial intelligence to have the same level of protection as victims of older technologies,” Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said at a press conference.

The rules ease the burden of proof on victims through a “presumption of causation,” meaning victims only need to show that the failure of manufacturers or users to comply with certain requirements caused harm and then link it to AI technology in their lawsuit.

Under the “right of access to evidence”, victims can apply to the courts to compel companies and suppliers to provide information about high-risk AI systems so they can identify the person responsible and the fault that led to the harm.

The Commission also announced an update to the Product Liability Directive, which means that manufacturers will be responsible for all dangerous tangible and intangible products, including software and digital services, and after the products have been sold.

Users can sue for compensation if software updates make their smart home products unsafe or if manufacturers fail to address cybersecurity gaps. Those with dangerous non-EU products will be able to sue the manufacturer’s representative in the EU for compensation.

The AI ​​Liability Directive must be agreed with EU countries and EU legislators before it becomes law.

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