The future of AI regulation in the consumer products industry

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, AI in the manufacturing market is expected to reach $15.27 billion. The consumer product industry is one of many considering the use of these technologies to advance its digital maturity and improve the efficiency of its supply chain.

AI has the power to potentially strengthen a company’s competitive advantage in the marketplace and enhance customer experience, according to Deloitte. While some are impressed with all the capabilities AI can provide, and some are interested in learning more, others are concerned about the increased safety risks.

Gibson Dunn recently published its annual review of AI regulatory developments, noting that after seeing federal rule making advance in the fourth quarter of 2020, “2021 is poised to bring consequential legislative and policy changes."

The Consumer Safety Technology Act (H.R. 8128), which passed the House of Representatives in late September 2020, could be one of the upcoming changes impacting the consumer product industry. If enacted, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) would be charged with establishing a pilot program that would use AI for tracking injury trends, identifying consumer product hazards, monitoring the retail marketplace for recalled consumer products, identifying unsafe imported consumer products, or a combination of these.

Since then, the CPSC announced a public webinar scheduled for March 2, 2021, to discuss the ramifications of AI and related technologies on consumer products from a consumer safety perspective. The webinar will cover AI and ML capabilities, when and how AI and ML could affect consumer product safety, and relevant voluntary standards and regulatory guidance.

How should you prepare for the future impact of AI on your business?

The risks and opportunities associated with AI are evolving, making it even more important to be vigilant by staying on top of the latest developments – from how it can be used to enhance your product or streamline your business, to the legal and regulatory risks that could follow. The CPSC’s upcoming webinar is one way you can do just that.

Another event worth attending is the ICPHSO 2021 Annual Symposium taking place February 22-26, 2021. The ICPHSO annual meeting and training symposium features presentations and panel discussions with leading consumer product safety experts from around the world.

This year’s agenda includes a panel discussion titled Dawn of AI Laws – How Europe’s Move to AI Regulation Will Impact Consumer Safety Around the World.”This session is a great opportunity to hear experts share their insight on the future of AI regulation.

The Sedgwick brand protection team participates in the ICPHSO annual meeting every year and finds it one of the most insightful programs available to product safety professionals. This year will be no different. For those that are attending, be sure to find us at this virtual conference. We'll also be hosting an informal wrap-up session in due course. So whether you can join us at the ICPHSO annual meeting or not, keep an eye out for more details in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can learn more about the ICPHSO Annual Symposium here.

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