EOcafe: Implications of the AI Act on the EO Industry

Implications of the AI Act on the EO Industry

 7th of March 2024, 16.00-17.00 CET

In early 2024, a provisional agreement outlining landmark artificial intelligence rules was agreed in the European Parliament, with a plenary vote expected in April. Coined the “AI Act”, the new legislation constitutes the world’s first set of rules on AI. The legislation will act as a regulatory framework to maximise the benefits of the technology while ensuring that risks are appropriately addressed.

While the uptake of AI has the potential to bring societal benefits and economic growth, as well as enhance EU innovation and competitiveness, certain characteristics of AI systems may create risks. The overall goal of the legislation is to address and minimise risks to health, safety, fundamental rights, democracy, the rule of law and the environment.

The regulation seeks to establish a long-term, technology-neutral definition of AI that could be applied to future systems, as well as analyse and classify AI systems that can be used in different applications based on the risk that they pose to users.

For several technological sectors, including the space sector, the AI Act raises many questions. The legal framework will apply to both public and private actors, inside and outside the EU, as long as the AI system is placed on the EU market, or its use affects people located in the EU.

Given the increasing interlinkages between the space domain and AI technologies, questions remain regarding the impact that the regulation will have on the space sector, and more specifically on the EO industry and any future activities.

This is what our host Geoff Sawyer (EARSC Strategic Advisor and former Secretary General), will try to clarify with legal expert Dr. Matthias Lachenmann (Lawyer and Partner, BHO Legal).

Questions that could be addressed during this EOcafe include:

  • How will the AI Act impact the space sector and more specifically, companies in the Earth observation sector?
  • What do EARSC members and EO companies need to be aware of?
  • What concrete actions – if any – do EO companies need to take to comply with the regulation?
  • How does this tie into wider questions related to the rapid technological developments surrounding AI?
  • What potential opportunities exist in the context of this changing landscape?

Registration: The webinar is open to all. Registration is free but compulsory.

Please note this is a virtual event!

EOcafe is part of a series of EARSC meetings that offer timely, relevant, and practical information on a broad variety of topics related to the EO sector. Join us every two weeks to discuss and network while enjoying a cup of coffee with friends.


  • The use of a video camera is not mandatory but is encouraged to facilitate better interaction between the attendees and the guest speaker(s).
  • The EOcafe will stay open after 17:00 in case our guests want to continue the discussion.
  • By registering for this event, you accept the terms and conditions (https://earsc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/EARSC_Events_GDPR.pdf).

If you have any questions, and/or you want to know more about the EOcafe, and/or you want to share an idea about a future EOcafe, please contact Tanya Walker (tanya.walker@earsc.org).

Author: EARSC

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