Regulating high-reach AI: on transparency directions in the Digital Services Act

Kasia Söderlund, Emma Engström, Kashyap Haresamudram, Stefan Larsson, Pontus Strimling

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


By introducing the concept of high-reach AI, this paper focuses on AI systems whose widespread use may generate significant risks for both individuals and societies. While some of those risks have been recognised under the AI Act, we are analysing the rules laid down by the Digital Services Act (DSA) for recommender systems used by dominant social media platforms, as a prominent example of high-reach AI. Specifically, we examine transparency provisions aimed at addressing adverse effects of these AI technologies employed by social media very large online platforms (VLOPs).

Drawing from AI transparency literature, we analyse DSA transparency measures through the conceptual lens of horizontal and vertical transparency. Our analysis indicates that while the DSA incorporates transparency provisions in both dimensions, the most progressive amendments emerge within the vertical transparency, for instance, by the introduction of the systemic risk assessment mechanism.

However, we argue that the true impact of the new transparency provisions extends beyond their mere existence, emphasising the critical role of oversight entities in implementation and application of the DSA. Overall, this study highlights the paramount importance of vertical transparency in providing a comprehensive understanding of the aggregated risks associated with high-reach AI technologies, exemplified by social media recommender systems.
TidskriftInternet Policy Review
StatusPublished - 2024 mars 20

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Systemvetenskap, informationssystem och informatik med samhällsvetenskaplig inriktning
  • Juridik och samhälle


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