Navigating the EU AI Act 

In a discussion with Senior Researcher Aida Ponti de Castello from the European Trade Union Institute, we explored the profound implications of the EU AI Act on engineers and other STEM professionals.

The EU AI Act and Its Impact on the STEM Field 

The EU AI Act is a significant development that provides a structured legal framework for AI governance in Europe. It has far-reaching implications for those in the STEM field, particularly for professionals involved in developing AI systems. 

Aida emphasized how AI systems can modify the way work is performed, leading to changes in labour and social rights. This transformation underscores the need for STEM professionals to understand and adhere to the new regulations outlined in the EU AI Act. 

The Role of STEM Professionals in Navigating the AI Act 

With the AI Act emphasizing the importance of legal obligations and risk assessment in AI development, STEM professionals may need to undergo training or upskilling to stay updated on the regulatory requirements and best practices in the field. 

Recommendations for STEM Professionals and Their Representatives 

Aida also provided recommendations to social partners representing engineers and STEM professionals, in navigating the implications of the EU AI Act: 

  1. Identifying Risks and Compliance: Social partners and unions need to recognize the potential risks associated with AI systems in the workplace and ensure compliance with the legal obligations specified in the legislation. 
  1. Collaboration and Cooperation: Aida suggests that social partners, unions, and workers’ representatives can play a crucial role in conducting risk assessments of high-risk AI systems and working together to address any concerns related to AI deployment. 
  1. Enhancing Collective Agreements: The AI Act may serve as leverage for social partners to improve, modify, or establish new collective agreements that address the implications of AI technologies on workers’ rights and working conditions. 
  1. Advocating for Worker Protection: Social partners and unions should advocate for the protection of workers’ rights in the context of AI implementation, ensuring that ethical and legal standards are upheld in the development and use of AI systems. 

In conclusion, the EU AI Act’s impact on STEM professionals underscores the need for a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory framework, a commitment to ethical AI practices, and potential adjustments in work processes to align with the legal requirements outlined in the legislation. 

For more insights, watch the entire interview with Aida Ponti de Castello here: