Europe establishes first global AI regulations

European Union officials have reached a significant agreement on regulating artificial intelligence (AI) rules, specifically targeting systems like ChatGPT and facial recognition. The proposal sets the stage for the Artificial Intelligence Act, which is scheduled for a vote in the European Parliament and Council next year and is expected to be implemented in 2025. If passed, this legislation would establish the world's first comprehensive rules for governing the use of artificial intelligence, marking a significant step towards legal oversight of AI technology.

The law would ban the use of applications that employ cognitive behavioral manipulations, as well as systems that utilize facial images from the internet or CCTV footage to create facial recognition databases. It would also prohibit systems that employ social scoring biometric categorization to infer personal beliefs, sexual orientation, and race. Additionally, the legislation would limit the use of biometric identification systems by law enforcement, with exceptions made for targeted searches in cases of abduction, trafficking, sexual exploitation, and preventing terrorist threats.

Consumers would have the right to file complaints, and fines for violations would range from 1.5% to 7% of global turnover or 8.1 million to 37.7 million euros. The European Union has been advocating for regulations on artificial intelligence for several years, and the recent advancements in chatbot technology such as ChatGPT have heightened the urgency to establish guidelines.

The accord requires foundation models like ChatGPT and general-purpose AI systems to comply with transparency obligations before they can enter the market. This includes the preparation of technical documentation, adherence to EU copyright law, and the dissemination of detailed summaries about the training data used. The agreement has been well-received, with Italian lawmaker Brando Benifei expressing satisfaction and highlighting the importance of proper implementation to ensure that rights and freedoms are prioritized in the development of this groundbreaking technology.

Romanian lawmaker Dragos Tudorachem emphasized that these rules would protect citizens and EU democracies from potential abuses of technology by public authorities. The AI Act is seen as a significant contribution by the European Union to the global digital landscape, safeguarding SMEs, promoting innovation, and protecting vulnerable sectors of the economy.


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