BLOG published on 31 Jan 2024

Navigating AI Regulation: a roadmap for Public Service Media

Navigating AI Regulation: a roadmap for Public Service Media
EBU's Director of Legal and Policy Richard Burnley

In Europe, we are currently witnessing a scramble for artificial intelligence (AI) regulation, both nationally and internationally. The European Union (EU) is finalising a proposal to establish common rules and obligations for providers and deployers of AI-based systems in the EU internal market. In parallel, the Council of Europe (CoE), a different inter-governmental organisation made up of 46 member states, including the 27 EU member states, is negotiating an international treaty – the so-called “Framework Convention” – on the development, design and application of AI systems based on the Council of Europe’s standards on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The Framework Convention is expected to become the leading global normative instrument for AI, as states such as the United States, Canada, Israel and Japan have committed to ratifying it.

At present, the main challenge of AI regulation is to foster innovation and encourage the use of AI while protecting fundamental rights. This is why the EU and the Council of Europe are proposing a "risk-based" approach, based on AI's potential to harm individuals and society: the higher the risk, the stricter the rules. The rapid development of artificial intelligence technologies poses challenges in all regulatory areas affecting public service media (PSM), as well as opportunities.

The key is getting the balance right. In our new series, the EBU will shed light on all the relevant developments. In the first installment. we tackle:

  • The rise of disinformation and the role of public service media
  • Ensuring respect for copyright and fair remuneration
  • Unfair behaviour could threaten the media ecosystem

AI is set to transform almost every area of human activity, including the media sector. Its effective regulation will require a broad and holistic framework complemented by targeted regulatory interventions on specific issues. While the Council of Europe Framework Convention and the EU AI Act provide a horizontal framework, we expect the EU to propose targeted initiatives on issues such as misinformation, copyright and competition in the next legislative cycle. The EBU is there to help and guide public service media through these changes.

Read now: AI Regulation and Public Service Media: A Look Ahead