LEGAL VIEWPOINT: Artificial Intelligence (AI), no definition? Asks Dr AbdelGadir Warsama Ghalib, Principal Legal Counsel, Bahrain

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Dr AbdelGadir Warsama Ghalib, Principal Legal Counsel, Bahrain

The vast and fast development of IT was due to many reasons, one of which is the new developed legislations that came-up as consequence to the “Model Unicitral electronic law” issued by the UN to boost IT new era. The IT revolution took the world now to the 4th industrial revolution greatly based on the Artificial Intelligence (AI).

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To keep in line and to maximize benefits from this new revolution, a clear definition of artificial intelligence (AI), is urgently needed. It’s a must and this should be the first step towards regularization of the (AI) and to pave the way for a special legislation for the artificial intelligence (AI) and related issues.

When we talk about artificial intelligence (AI), which we have done a lot recently, we miss a clear definition. This could be due to the fact that the (AI) experts and others are not having clear stand on the issue. However, by all means, having a clear definition of (AI), is vital for regulation and governance as laws and policies simply will not operate without a clear definition.

As we know, in many instances there is a definition “problem” that comes up in all regulatory contexts. Such definition problem, sometimes, could arise in cases where there are different purposes for the item to be defined. For example, the (AI) term could be used for entertainment products and at the same time in automated weapons to be used in laws of war. Clearly, such different usage will lead to some confusion regarding a clear definition.

Such variation in usages, could lead legislators and lawyers to look for more than one definition, which we find now in some instances, such as in the word “environment” which means different things in different contexts.

There is a lot of debate still going on between IT professionals and other specialties, in their endeavors to reach or put clear unified definition for the term (AI). I believe, we still need more brain storming to reach a consensus on this new issue. In this attempt, we have noticed that, some are trying to define (AI) by defining each word by itself. Defining “Artificial” and then defining “Intelligence”. I wonder, if this attempt will succeed. Anyhow, as I said, it is an attempt. Whereas, others are looking for the term as one unit and based on this they are looking for a definition. So far, many professionals sat together for some time, but nothing yielded from their long meetings and it seems still there is a need for extra time. Some specialists say that, they understand some of the mechanisms of artificial intelligence and others are not yet.

I believe that, the legislators and regulators, when looking for a clear definition, their immediate main concern will focus on the (AI) products, their work and related public welfare in addition to safety and privacy risks that might arise from those products.

 There is no hurry, but we need to work together to reach the most acceptable definition. And, moreover, to issue a general legislation to lay the grounds for secured (AI) work and products. It should be clear that, such legislations are not needed to curb or deny the need for IT revolution and the (AI), no, we fully support IT but within acceptable boundaries and clear useful framework for our next e-era.

 Dr. AbdelGadir Warsama is Principal Legal Counsel at Dr. AbdelGadir Warsama Consultancy