Nation states are uniquely poised to respond to the issues that arise from artificial intelligence applications. Some states have chosen to play a coordinating role in articulating and facilitating strategies for the development and use of AI. Through legislation, states also express choices about privacy, the effect of algorithmic decisions, and the myriad ways in which AI applications affect areas of concern to the state and to those within its borders. To understand the kinds of legislation that states are enacting to govern AI applications, however, one must start with the laws of the European Union, which has been at the forefront of statutory rules for AI. Decisions taken at the domestic and regional level have international consequences as nations exercise their prerogatives over national security and other concerns. The power of states to govern as they please, however, is not limitless. That this chapter examines EU legislation shows that other actors influence the behavior of states. Moreover, states are limited in their ability to govern their own populations and to provide the governance that is expected of them. The challenges of governing large populations are leading states to consider relying on artificial applications to assist in the performance of governmental functions. Depending on how deeply integrated and how autonomous these AI applications are, such use challenges traditional understandings of who the governed are and what governance means.

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