According to publicly available research reports, Poland holds the seventh place in terms of the number of experts working on artificial intelligence (AI) projects in the European Union and even takes the lead in CEE. On the other hand, the level of adoption of AI-based solutions by Polish businesses is relatively disproportionate. The estimations made by the government visualize the potential impact of AI on the Polish economy. According to these calculations, the implementation of AI solutions in the Polish economy could contribute to increasing the GDP growth rate by 2.65% annually.
Having this in mind, as well as global trends and interest around AI, it comes as no surprise that the Polish government has decided to undertake certain legislative steps aimed at streamlining the development of AI in Poland.
Current Legal Framework
Currently, there are no binding provisions concerning such issues as AI, blockchain, or big data in Poland. In fact, apart from pioneering the draft of the EU Artificial Intelligence Act (AIA) and just publishing the proposal for an AI Liability Directive, EU member states have not elaborated their own regulations on AI. Most interesting issues relating to AI, such as liability or copyrights, remain open for discussion. As to Poland, general provisions of the Civil Code on tort and contractual liability would come into play (pointing to the producer or operator of an AI-based solution as the responsible party). In terms of intellectual property rights, Polish copyright law would oppose holding the AI (robot) as the creator and owner of economic and moral copyrights. With no specific regulation, these issues must be dealt with using the current legal framework.
Policy Paper on AI in Poland
The Polish government has approached AI by publishing a strategic, general document setting state-level objectives in the short, mid, and long term. The paper called Policy for the Development of Artificial Intelligence in Poland (AI Policy) was officially adopted as an appendix to the resolution of the Polish Council of Ministers dated December 28, 2020. The very best idea and significance of the AI Policy are summarized in the following excerpt: “to support the society, companies, representatives of the academia and public administration in taking advantage of opportunities related to AI development, while ensuring the protection of human dignity and conditions for fair competition in this global race.”
The document sets directions and actions to be taken to develop the AI sector in Poland, by achieving approximately 200 goals. Furthermore, the AI Policy identifies obstacles hindering AI development in Poland, e.g., the low level of cooperation between the scientific environment and businesses. The problems should be addressed by increasing the ties between business and academics, facilitating the knowledge and innovation flow, and productivity growth.
Interestingly, the authors of the AI Policy underline the need to amend the existing laws to ensure the proper functioning of the AI ecosystem in Poland. The following items have been presented in the document as potential subjects to legal regulation: (1) a Legal definition of AI (the AI Policy invokes the concept of intelligent agent and AI system definition elaborated by OECD); (2) the Legal personality of AI (it is suggested that AI shall not be granted legal personality); (3) the ownership and portability of personal data; (4) the liability of AI manufacturers based on due diligence basis; (5) a risk-based liability of AI operators.
Review of Actions
The AI Policy assumes that new agencies will be created to coordinate the implementation of the AI Policy. In addition, ministries and some other government authorities should report the actions undertaken in the field of AI development. However, no specific information nor reports have been published yet. On January 19, 2022, a dedicated team has been established to manage the execution of the AI Policy. The first meeting of the team took place in May 2022. Its works concentrate on coordinating the efforts of particular public authorities so as to reach the short-term goals provided in the AI Policy (set for 2023).
Trends and Perspectives
It appears that recent geopolitical events in CEE, as well as economic turbulences over the last couple of months, have somewhat overridden the execution of goals set in the AI Policy. Nevertheless, the interest in implementing AI solutions is steadily growing – see the cases of chatbots, virtual assistants, and speech or picture recognition systems. There are, naturally, examples of business failures recorded by AI solutions, e.g., difficulties in the commercial launch of autonomous vehicles without operators, or re-manualization of certain RPA processes. Altogether, this proves that regulating AI is necessary, both at the EU and national levels.
By Lukasz Wieczorek, Partner and Head of TMT/IP, KWKR
This article was originally published in Issue 9.10 of the CEE Legal Matters Magazine. If you would like to receive a hard copy of the magazine, you can subscribe here.