Raphaël Gellert, ‘The EU’s New Directives on Digital Contracts, and Artificial Intelligence: Really Future Proof?’

ABSTRACT
In 2019 the European Union adopted two key Directives on consumer protection with regard to digital contracts: the Directive on the supply of digital content and digital services (2019/770, hereinafter DCD), and the Directive on the online sale of goods (2019/ 771, hereinafter SGD). The European Commission has meant these Directives to be futureproof, which is the reason why the range of digital content under the scope of the DCD is as broad as possible, and the SGD applies to so-called ‘goods with digital elements’.

Yet, and in-spite of this future-proof ambition, no mention is made of what is probably the most pressing current technology: artificial intelligence (AI). This technology presents a number of important challenges as underscored by the European Commission in its recent White Paper on AI. Yet, they do not seem to have been taken into account by the Directives.

This contribution therefore tries to apply the challenges identified by the Commission in the context of product safety and liability to these Directives with a focus on the DCD. It shows that it presents a number of important challenges, in particular as far as provision on conformity, remedies, or liability are concerned. Ultimately, it raises the question as to whether these Directives are able to deal with AI.

Raphaël Gellert, The EU’s New Directives on Digital Contracts, and Artificial Intelligence: Really Future Proof?, European Review of Private Law, Volume 29, Issue 3 (2021) pp 403-424.

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