Luxembourg: Five Questions About Artificial Intelligence: Ethical, Legal And Business Dimensions
Last Updated: 17 June 2019

June 2019 – Dessislava Fessenko, heading the Technology practice in our Kinstellar Sofia office, speaks exclusively for Colliers International on the incorporation of AI in contemporary businesses and its interaction with society on ethical, legal and business grounds.

Dessislava has over sixteen years of experience advising on technology, competition and compliance law— including five years at a leading international law firm in Brussels prior to joining Kinstellar. Her practice spans all aspects of Bulgarian and EU technology, competition and compliance regulations. Her sector-specific experience ranges from banking and insurance, pharmaceuticals, and equity and venture funds to consumer products, retail, IT, and energy and mining. Dessislava advises clients on technology agreements, acquisitions of technology businesses, data protection and compliance, and on the interplay between antitrust regulations, intellectual property rights and data protection, cyber security and cyber-crime. She is a member of the European Artificial Intelligence Alliance and in this capacity has taken part in the expert consultations leading to the creation of the ethical guidelines on the development and use of trustworthy artificial intelligence promoted by the European Commission.

1. Is artificial intelligence (AI) still terra incognita for law and regulators? How regulated – if at all – is this area of computer science and technology?

The general perception prevails that it is not regulated at all. In fact, certain branches of this complex body of systems, processes and data are already regulated, at least in Europe. European regulations on privacy, non-personal data and information security already cover the personal and non-personal data used to fuel and train AI systems and the security settings that AI systems must have.

The European Union has now moved to regulate the core of AI, i.e., its conceptual and technical design. In April, the European Commission rolled out ethics guidelines for the development, deployment and use of AI that should be applied by all developers, suppliers and users of AI in Europe. The guidelines were drafted by an expert group of institutional and industry stakeholders and also incorporated broader input from non-governmental advisory platforms, of which I am also a member.

2. What is the relevance of these ethical guidelines to business and investors?

Although not binding as law, the guidelines clearly set out the ethical and legal framework within which the EU expects businesses to operate when developing, deploying and using AI. In practical term this means that there is already the nucleus of the rulebook that businesses and investors need to understand and keep in mind when making investment decisions and technological choices involving AI. The guidelines make it clearer what features an AI system would need to have or need to scrap in order to be rolled out to markets in the European Union.

3. What are the key requirements that these guidelines introduce?

The guidelines set a standard for AI solutions to build upon — namely that AI systems need to be trustworthy. This standard goes beyond the merely technical parameters of AI solutions. The guidelines identify seven key requirements that AI systems, in various settings and industries, should respect to be considered trustworthy. These requirements essentially relate to the human oversight, security and safety, privacy, transparency and accountability standards that AI solutions must meet. The guidelines also include an assessment list to help check whether these requirements are fulfilled.

Setting aside the Kafkaesque flare of these formulations, the framework can essentially be understood as follows:

First and foremost, the use of fully autonomous AI, i.e., without a sufficient degree of human oversight, is not acceptable from the ethical and policy perspective at this point in time. AI functionalities need to ensure that humans review/validate/overrule actions/decisions implied by an AI system.

AI algorithms must be robust and reliable enough to adequately deal with erroneous outcomes. This feature is essentially a function derived from the quality of the data inputted into an AI system and of the alignment of the AI's objective with overall societal objectives. Having access to sufficient, consistent and unbiased data in order to "train" and operate an AI system will be the paramount challenge for years to come. Resolving this has to do with how both technical and legal problems, such as aggregation, computing capabilities, the ownership of data, control by individuals of their personal data, etc., are tackled. Aligning an AI system's objectives with overall societal objectives requires a great deal of ethical and engineering discipline: modern societies must define through constructive debate the common values they would like to preserve and promote in a globalised world, while technology businesses must develop AI around those moral decisions without bias.

Furthermore, AI systems also need to meet the latest state-of-the-art security standards to ensure that they are safe at every stage of their operations. The safety and security of an AI solution needs to be verified and evaluated regularly, including by external auditors. AI systems must integrate mechanisms to mitigate and remedy any adverse outcomes.

4. What is the impact of this new framework on businesses and investors?

The guidelines have set the principle boundaries within which AI solutions need to fit in order to be used on European markets. This should level the playing field to a certain extent, given the strong competition from the US and China in this area of science and technology. However, like all regulations (even if a soft one for the time being), the guidelines will likely raise the overall transaction costs for developers and businesses incorporating AI solutions in their IT systems. To meet the AI safety, security and accountability standards established by the guidelines necessitates constant, on-going investment by developers and businesses.

5. What follows next for AI in Europe?

From the business/investment perspective, there is clear commitment from European Union institutions to support and promote the development and use of AI in a wide range of sectors. The EU aims to significantly incentivise private investment (including via public-private partnerships in research and development, defense, etc.). To this end, the European Commission has increased its funding for AI via the various sector development instruments that it applies. The Commission plans to earmark EUR 1 billion annually in support of AI-based public services, such as e-healthcare, smart cities, (including connected and automated vehicles) and automated manufacturing. EU Member States, including Bulgaria, are currently working out their own priorities in the area of AI and putting together national strategies for the development and use of such systems. This process also holds opportunities for businesses with social and corporate responsibility agendas.

In terms of regulations, the ethical guidelines currently proposed by the European Commission can be expected to evolve, both conceptually and in terms of the technical standards promoted. The guidelines can be also expected to be brought to bear on other binding regulations in Europe, such as those for safety, product liability and consumer protection.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Press Releases from this Firm
Recent Content from this Firm
By Diana Dimova
By Olena Kuchynska, Oleksandr Plachynta
By Joel Benjamin, Muborak Kambarova
By Joel Benjamin, Muborak Kambarova
By Svilen Issaev
By Joel Benjamin
By Olena Kuchynska
By Adam Hodoň, Lívia Miklenčičová
By Selma Mujezinović
By Adam Hodoň, Lívia Miklenčičová
Font Size:
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions