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Updated on Feb 6th 2024 based on the version endorsed by the Coreper I on Feb 2nd

AI systems could have an adverse impact to health and safety of persons, in particular when such systems operate as safety components of products. Consistently with the objectives of Union harmonisation legislation to facilitate the free movement of products in the internal market and to ensure that only safe and otherwise compliant products find their way into the market, it is important that the safety risks that may be generated by a product as a whole due to its digital components, including AI systems, are duly prevented and mitigated. For instance, increasingly autonomous robots, whether in the context of manufacturing or personal assistance and care should be able to safely operate and performs their functions in complex environments. Similarly, in the health sector where the stakes for life and health are particularly high, increasingly sophisticated diagnostics systems and systems supporting human decisions should be reliable and accurate.

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Mitigation of Safety Risks to Ensure Fundamental Rights

AI systems could produce adverse outcomes to health and safety of persons, in particular when such systems operate as components of products. Consistently with the objectives of Union harmonisation legislation to facilitate the free movement of products in the internal market and to ensure that only safe and otherwise compliant products find their way into the market, it is important that the safety risks that may be generated by a product as a whole due to its digital components, including AI systems, are duly prevented and mitigated. For instance, increasingly autonomous robots, whether in the context of manufacturing or personal assistance and care should be able to safely operate and performs their functions in complex environments. Similarly, in the health sector where the stakes for life and health are particularly high, increasingly sophisticated diagnostics systems and systems supporting human decisions should be reliable and accurate. The extent of the adverse impact caused by the AI system on the fundamental rights protected by the Charter is of particular relevance when classifying an AI system as high-risk. Those rights include the right to human dignity, respect for private and family life, protection of personal data, freedom of expression and information, freedom of assembly and of association, and non-discrimination, consumer protection, workers’ rights, rights of persons with disabilities, right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial, right of defence and the presumption of innocence, right to good administration. In addition to those rights, it is important to highlight that children have specific rights as enshrined in Article 24 of the EU Charter and in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (further elaborated in the UNCRC General Comment No. 25 as regards the digital environment), both of which require consideration of the children’s vulnerabilities and provision of such protection and care as necessary for their well-being. The fundamental right to a high level of environmental protection enshrined in the Charter and implemented in Union policies should also be considered when assessing the severity of the harm that an AI system can cause, including in relation to the health and safety of persons.

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