Published online by Cambridge University Press: 26 May 2021
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly more prevalent in our daily social and professional lives. AI can be of benefit to a wide range of sectors such as healthcare, energy consumption, climate change and financial risk management. AI can also help to detect cybersecurity threats and fraud as well as enable law enforcement authorities to fight crime more efficiently. AI systems are more accurate and efficient than humans because they are faster and can better process information. They can perform many tasks ‘better’ than their human counterparts. Companies from various economic sectors already rely on AI applications to decrease costs, generate revenue, enhance product quality and improve competitiveness. AI systems and robots can also have advantages for the specific sector in which they are to be used. Take the example of autonomous vehicles. Transport will become more time-efficient with autonomous car technology. Self-driving cars will also enable people currently facing restrictions for operating a vehicle – such as the elderly, minors or disabled people – to fully and independently participate in traffic. Traffic will become safer as well. The number of accidents will decrease as computers are generally much better drivers than humans.
At the same time, however, the introduction of AI systems and robots will present many challenges. These will only become more acute in light of the predicted explosive growth of the robotics industry over the next decade. AI has implications for various facets of our society. Some even predict that AI systems can completely eradicate humanity in the long run. There are also several important ethical issues associated with (programming and using) AI systems. The commercialisation of AI will pose several challenges from a legal and regulatory point of view as well.
In this comprehensive book, scholars from various legal disciplines critically examine how AI systems may have an impact on Belgian law. While specific topics of Belgian private and public law are thoroughly addressed, the book also provides a general overview of a number of regulatory and ethical AI evolutions and tendencies in the European Union. The book additionally explains basic AI-related concepts such as machine learning, robots, Internet of Things and expert systems.