Jusletter IT

Special Issue: AI and Law

Dear Readers

Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently on everyone's lips. The development and use of AI systems, which are affecting ever more areas of life, can only be properly understood from an interdisciplinary perspective. Technological understanding is a prerequisite, but politics and law determine the effective handling. Internationally, regulations are springing up like mushrooms; following the European Union with the Artificial Intelligence Act, the Council of Europe published a Framework Convention and the OECD revised the existing AI guidelines. At the end of 2023, the Swiss Federal Council announced its intention to draw up an overview of the legal issues arising by December 2024. However, this rather leisurely pace need not be a disadvantage, as Switzerland can incorporate foreign experience into its deliberations; moreover, there is no need to enact a comprehensive Swiss AI law (of over 100 pages), but the need for action can certainly be met with some specific (mainly vertical, sometimes also horizontal) legislative amendments and additions in Switzerland.

This focus issue of Jusletter IT takes up the breadth of the new legal issues from various perspectives: on the one hand, not all, but the important topics in the AI context are addressed; on the other hand, academic treatises can be found alongside more practice-oriented reports. The international regulations (Council of Europe, EU [with special attention to risk management], OECD) and topic-specific considerations (ensuring compliance with intellectual property rights, the problem of potential discrimination, guaranteeing the basic principles of data protection, structuring an appropriate liability regime) are discussed. The use of AI is also becoming increasingly important in the area of public law, which is why an explanation of the challenges for administrations and courts is essential.

This Jusletter IT is an interim step; the published descriptions and opinions are not set in stone, but form the starting point for further considerations within and outside the Weblaw community.

Rolf H. Weber
University of Zurich and Bratschi Attorneys at Law