18. September 2023

Hauptstadtforum Digitalwirtschaft invited Thomas Bäck as AI-Expert and representative of an SME

divis intelligent solutions GmbH is a member of Bundesverband IT-Mittelstand e.V. (BITMi), representing German SMEs in the field of information technology. Prof. Bäck is involved with BITMi for representing the interests of SMEs, in particular concerning possible implications of the EU-wide Artificial Intelligence Act, which aims at a risk-based regulation of AI applications within the EU. As an industry representative, he was invited to explain relevance and possible implications of this regulation for SMEs, at the opportunity of the Hauptstadtforums Digitalwirtschaft.

Thomas briefly explained that, due to a too imprecise definition of AI in the Act, the current formulation of the AI Act involves the potential of regulating many business to business applications of AI, too, for example in the manufacturing industry. Moreover, certain formulations in the Act (e.g., recital (81)), encourage already an extension of conformity assessment and certification requirements towards addressing all AI applications. This might result in SMEs seeing themselves confronted with bureaucratic and expensive requirements of documenting and getting certified also for applications, which are not defined in the Act as “high-risk applications” of AI. For corporate customers of such supplying SMEs, this results in being tempted to request generic conformity assessment and certification from their suppliers, for any type of AI-based products.

In addition to Prof. Michael Hüther (Direktor, German Economic Institute), who provided an impressive presentation about the status of German economy), high-level representatives of SMEs as well as members of German parliament, e.g., Dr. Anna Christmann und Maximilian Funke-Kaiser, also contributed to the event in round table discussions and interviews.