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European Union Officials Reach Historic Deal for AI Regulation

AI European Parliament and Council recently achieved a landmark provisional agreement on the regulatory framework for artificial intelligence (AI), signaling a pivotal moment in shaping the future of AI governance.This groundbreaking accord, reached after exhaustive discussions on December 8, encompasses a spectrum of crucial facets related to the deployment of AI, ranging from its governmental
European Union Officials Reach Historic Deal for AI Regulation
European Parliament and Council recently achieved a landmark provisional agreement on the regulatory framework for artificial intelligence (AI), signaling a pivotal moment in shaping the future of AI governance.

This groundbreaking accord, reached after exhaustive discussions on December 8, encompasses a spectrum of crucial facets related to the deployment of AI, ranging from its governmental applications in biometric surveillance to the meticulous regulation of advanced AI systems like ChatGPT.

At its core, the agreement introduces comprehensive transparency rules that mandate stringent adherence before AI models, including those like ChatGPT, can enter the market. These transparency requirements span technical documentation, compliance with European Union copyright, and the sharing of concise training content summaries. The aim is to establish the European Union as a trailblazer in supranational AI governance, outlining laws that not only promote the beneficial use of AI but also safeguard against potential risks.

Addressing the substantial impact and systemic risks posed by certain AI models, the agreement imposes a set of stringent obligations. AI entities falling under this category are required to conduct thorough evaluations of associated risks, undergo adversarial testing to enhance system resilience, report incidents to the European Commission, ensure robust cybersecurity measures, and disclose information regarding energy efficiency.

Emphasizing the importance of correct implementation, the European Parliament underscores its commitment to overseeing the support of innovative business ideas through the provision of sandboxes and the establishment of effective regulations for the most potent AI models. The agreed-upon framework positions the EU as a frontrunner in establishing a regulatory foundation for AI, poised to balance innovation with risk mitigation.

Historic!

The EU becomes the very first continent to set clear rules for the use of AI 🇪🇺

The #AIAct is much more than a rulebook — it’s a launchpad for EU startups and researchers to lead the global AI race.

The best is yet to come! 👍 pic.twitter.com/W9rths31MU

— Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) December 8, 2023

The agreement delineates guidelines for the governmental use of AI in scenarios such as biometric surveillance, limiting real-time surveillance to specific cases involving severe threats or certain crimes in public spaces. Notably, the deal prohibits cognitive behavioral manipulation, facial image scraping from the internet or CCTV footage, social scoring, and biometric systems inferring personal details such as beliefs and orientation. Consumers are granted the right to file complaints and seek explanations in case of violations.

To enforce compliance, the agreement introduces a tiered system of fines for infringements, ranging from 7.5 million euros ($8.1 million) or 1.5% of turnover to 35 million euros ($37.7 million) or 7% of global turnover, contingent on the severity of the violation and the size of the offending company.

European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton hailed the agreement as “historic,” asserting that the AI Act serves not merely as a rulebook but as a launchpad for EU startups and researchers to lead the global AI race.

The statement from the European Parliament affirms that the agreed text is now slated for formal adoption by both the parliament and council, culminating in the transformation of these provisions into EU law. The forthcoming votes by the parliament’s internal market and civil liberties committees will play a pivotal role in solidifying this momentous AI regulatory framework.

Wasif Shakir

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