Potential risks and opportunities in the regulation and application of Artificial Intelligence

The research is the continuation of a previous NKFIH project called ‘How does the law adapt, resist and learn? The responsiveness of the Hungarian legal system 2010-2018’. The development of emerging technologies challenges the law continuously. Thus, the project examines whether the law can respond to the technical changes. The lack of legal responsiveness might undermine legal certainty, while overregulation might set obstacles to innovation. The goal is to map the legislation at the international, EU, and national level and relevant judicial decisions in Artificial Intelligence (AI). The examination covers different areas of law such as comprehensive human rights-related questions, data protection law and cybersecurity, civil law, criminal law, EU and international law. Within this, the researchers aim to answer a number of questions: What exactly is regulated? Is it enough to ensure safety and protection? Is there any gap in the regulatory environment? The AI must be human-centered and meet the requirements of transparency, controllability, and security, which raise several issues for legislation and legal practice to respond. The aim is to use comparative methods to map the possible directions, challenges, and risks, identify good practices regarding AI, and set out specific recommendations for policymakers.

The research's fundamental question is whether the law can keep pace with the challenges generated by the emerging technologies with a special focus on AI-related risks and opportunities. Another question in connection to the previous one is whether the present regulation is adequate to deal with the new changes, or the existing dogmatic system of each area of law is adapted to the current challenges, or either modifications or new legal frameworks are needed. The project's hypothesis is that law must respond to technological development, although it could be adequate only in the case of the interrelationship of different areas of law. What are the current and future implications of AI for the law? How do the challenges of AI change the legal system? How does AI challenge the dogmatics of different areas of law? The given research topic is broad, so the goal cannot be to examine the demand for completeness, but the highlighted questions will be examined in detail.

There are not many domestic legal research studies in the field of AI. Thus, such a scientific project is regarded to be supplementary and essential to foster national regulation of AI. The research's strength is that it covers current interest questions, which are considered to be novums at the international level, like the human rights- and risks-based approaches, privacy and cybersecurity issues, liability implications, and regulatory by design regarding the use of AI. The researchers have a strong background in their research fields and relevant experience to conduct an interdisciplinary project. The project's expected results may be used to develop legislation, legal practice, statutory interpretation, and institutional practices, while it may contribute to further education and training of legal practitioners and higher education.

As with any new technology, the use of AI brings both opportunities and risks. AI, therefore, has become a leading challenge of our time. It will change our lives by improving healthcare, transportation, climate change mitigation, and in many other ways. At the same time, AI entails a number of potential risks, such as opaque decision-making, gender-based or other kinds of discrimination, intrusion in our private lives, or being used for criminal purposes. A regulatory framework should concentrate on how to minimize the various risks while maximizing the societal benefits of AI. The main risks related to the use of AI concern the application of rules designed to protect human rights, as well safety and liability-related issues. The use of AI can affect the rule of law and lead to breaches of fundamental rights (including, for example, the rights to freedom of expression, non-discrimination, privacy, or the right to an effective judicial remedy and a fair trial, as well as consumer protection). It is particularly relevant to examine the compliance of regulation in the case of AI applications for the judiciary and law enforcement. This research aims not merely to highlight potential risks but also to promote a discussion of possible legal solutions. The goal is to support the Hungarian AI’s strategy and increase the public’s trust in the application of AI systems.


Mezei Kitti, Weinerné Friedery Réka, Chronowski Nóra, Kecskés Gábor, Kálmán Kinga, Rácz Lilla, Papp Mónika, Hoffmann Tamás, Polyák Gábor, Szentgáli-Tóth Boldizsár Artúr, Ambrus István, Pap András László, Czebe András, Győry Csaba, Kovács Szitkay Eszter