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EU’s Groundbreaking Move: Landmark Deal on AI Regulations

European Union officials have achieved a historic milestone with a landmark deal on regulating artificial intelligence, impacting systems like ChatGPT and facial recognition. The proposed Artificial Intelligence Act, scheduled for a vote in the European Parliament and Council next year, aims to establish the world’s first comprehensive rules governing the use of AI technology, with enforcement starting in 2025.

Unprecedented Regulation

The agreement, announced by European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton, marks a turning point, positioning the EU as the first continent to implement clear rules for AI usage. The legislation targets applications employing cognitive behavioral manipulations, facial recognition databases sourced from the internet or CCTV footage, and systems using social scoring for biometric categorization.

Strict Prohibitions

Under the proposed law, the use of biometric identification systems by law enforcement is restricted, with exemptions for specific scenarios like targeted searches in cases of abduction, trafficking, sexual exploitation, and preventing present terrorist threats. Notably, consumers would have the right to launch complaints, and violations could incur fines ranging from $8.1 million or 1.5% of turnover to $37.7 million euros or 7% of global turnover.

Addressing AI Concerns

With the rise of advanced chatbots like ChatGPT, concerns over AI’s impact on jobs, privacy, copyright protection, and societal well-being have gained urgency. The proposed regulations require transparency obligations for foundation models and general-purpose AI systems, ensuring compliance with EU copyright law and providing detailed summaries about the content used for training.

Welcoming the Accord

Brando Benifei, an Italian lawmaker involved in negotiations, expressed satisfaction with the deal, emphasizing the importance of keeping rights and freedoms at the forefront of AI development. Dragos Tudorachem, a Romanian lawmaker, highlighted the rules’ role in safeguarding citizens and EU democracies against potential technology abuses by public authorities.

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