AI Regulation | Dec 11, 2023

European Union Agrees on Provisional AI Regulation

An historic first, the European Union has reached a provisional deal on landmark rules governing the use of artificial intelligence (AI). The EU’s agreement is the first major global initiative to enact laws governing AI. It aims to balance the technological advancements with the need for ethical guardrails.

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The regulation requires AI systems, including foundation models like ChatGPT, to adhere to transparency obligations before market deployment. This includes technical documentation, compliance with EU copyright law, and detailed training content summaries. High-impact foundation models with systemic risk must conduct model evaluations, assess and mitigate risks, ensure cybersecurity, and report on energy efficiency.

The use of real-time biometric surveillance in public spaces is restricted to specific cases like preventing terrorist attacks or searching for serious crime suspects. The agreement bans AI systems that manipulate human behavior, exploit vulnerabilities, or infer sensitive characteristics like political or sexual orientation. Consumers have the right to launch complaints and receive explanations about AI decisions affecting them.

Fines and Penalties: Violations can result in fines ranging from €7.5 million or 1.5% of turnover to €35 million or 7% of global turnover.

Thierry Breton, the bloc’s internal market chief:

“We spent a lot of time on finding the right balance between making the most of AI potential to support law enforcement while protecting our citizens’ fundamental rights.  We do not want any mass surveillance in Europe.”

Business groups have expressed concerns, viewing the regulations as an additional burden. Privacy rights groups argue that the law could have been stronger in limiting biometric surveillance.

See:  28 Nations Agree to The Bletchley Declaration on Frontier AI

The legislation is anticipated to enter into force early next year, with a two-year period before application.

Read More: 15 page EY analysis:  Political agreement reached on EU AI Act

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