Which Latin American Countries Lead the Way In AI Regulation?

The region’s artificial intelligence index (ILIA) points to just three countries with adequate regulation of the technology, out of the 12 countries analyzed

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August 30, 2023 | 06:45 PM

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Bogotá — Only three countries have specific regulations on artificial intelligence among the largest economies in Latin America, a region that is seeing the arrival of such technologies with several adoption challenges and where legislation has begun to lag behind in some markets.

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The Latin American Artificial Intelligence Index (ILIA) examines the regulatory situation regarding this technology in 12 Latin American countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

Specifically, the regulation subdimension measures the level of maturity of the regulatory discussion around AI systems.

This subdimension is composed of three indicators, which are the existence of specific AI regulations in the country, AI-related legislation, and finally, a measure of AI regulatory experimentation initiatives.


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The report concludes that “the majority of countries (11 out of 12) have regulatory progress on issues that are fundamental to AI, but more cross-cutting, such as data protection and cybersecurity. However, there are gaps and challenges in the discussion on specific regulation of AI systems and in regulatory experimentation initiatives.”

One of the key findings is that the workforce is lagging behind on AI.


In fact, it indicates that the relative penetration of technological and disruptive skills associated with AI is lower in Latin America (2.16%) than in the rest of the world (3.59%).

In the regulation subdimension, the best scores are found in Brazil and Colombia, with 100 each.

Chile and Peru appear below with a score of 75, above the average for Latin America, which is 54.17.

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The lowest scores are in Ecuador, Panama and Uruguay (all with 25), while Bolivia is last with 0.


Only Brazil, Chile and Peru have specific regulations related to artificial intelligence.

In the case of Brazil, the country already has a data protection, cybercrime and cybersecurity law in force. It also has regulatory experimentation projects.

In addition, a bill for the regulation of artificial intelligence is being processed.


Chile also has a bill in the pipeline to regulate artificial intelligence and there is also a history of experimentation in this area for legislative purposes.

Peru, on the other hand, stands out because it has a specific regulation for this technology and also has legislation on data protection.

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And Colombia, which ranks among the top scorers, has a history of regulatory experimentation and has a data protection law in place.


However, it does not have a specific law governing the adoption of artificial intelligence in different areas.

“It is striking that the position of several countries in this sub-dimension is not in line with the position in the rest of the ILIA. We see that countries with significant challenges in other dimensions appear here with the maximum score, such as Colombia or Peru, which in this item surpass countries with high scores in general,” according to the report.

For the preparation of the report, the dimensions related to enabling factors, research, development and adoption and governance are taken into account.


“In the case of the regulatory framework in AI, all countries, except Bolivia, obtain some score. Since there is no consensus as to whether more or less regulation is better, scores are assigned considering the level of maturity that can be estimated from the sub-indicators,” the report adds.

Within the governance dimension, the vision and institutionality in relation to artificial intelligence is also included. This has to do with the development of a strategy by the countries, the involvement of civil society and the institutional framework in AI. In this item in particular, Chile obtained the best score with 89.48, above the global average of 33.68.

In the adoption dimension, which measures the intensity with which the private sector integrates AI and the state mechanisms to promote this integration, Chile was again first with a score of 84.1, followed by Uruguay with 69.4.

And in innovation and AI development, Uruguay leads with 83.6 points, followed by Chile with 41.9.

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