Legal framework for artificial intelligence advances in Brazil

Congress passed a bill that outlines guidelines for public policies and principles to be followed by companies, which now needs to be voted by the Senate.
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

Brazil's Congress passed a bill that creates a legal framework that outlines rules around the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the country. The Senate will now vote the matter.

Guidelines for the creation of public policies relating to the technology are outlined in the proposal, as well as principles to be followed by private sector organizations in relation to the development of AI systems. The scope includes machine learning systems, including supervised, unsupervised and reinforcement learning platforms.

The Brazilian project for a legal AI framework is inspired by the concepts and guidelines proposed in the recommendations on artificial intelligence by the Organization of States for Economic Development (OECD).

The bill covers the rights of users of AI systems, such as being informed about the institution responsible for the development of the AI system they are interacting with, as well as the right to access clear and adequate information about the criteria and procedures used by the system.

Moreover, the proposal sets out some foundations for AI use in Brazil, such as technological development and innovation, free enterprise and competition, in addition to rules around ensuring respect for human rights and democratic values, according to the project's rapporteur congresswoman Luisa Canziani.

"[The bill] aimed, for example, at promoting research and the development of an ethical artificial intelligence free of prejudice, competitiveness and the increase of Brazilian productivity", she added.

In April, the Brazilian government published the country's AI strategy to guide actions around research, innovation and the development of related technologies to tackle the country's greatest challenges, as well as ethics.

The document analyzes the current state of AI in the world. According to the strategy, it compares the global and local scenarios - according to the strategy, while the US has invested $224 million in AI startups in 2019, Brazil has only invested $1 million. It also points out Brazil faces considerable challenges to developing its AI industry, such as lack of skills, a high tax burden for companies and bureaucracy.

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