EU Adopts the World’s First Artificial Intelligence Law

The European Union (EU) has formally agreed on the world’s first comprehensive legislation regulating the use of artificial intelligence (AI). The groundbreaking law sets “all-encompassing rules” for AI technologies, based on risk assessment regarding their use in fields such as autonomous transport, medical devices, financial services, and education.

This pioneering law establishes a thorough approach to AI regulation. Notably, it outright bans so-called “social scoring” systems that rank citizens based on data analysis. Also prohibited are predictive modeling for police use and emotional recognition in workplaces and schools, as per CNBC’s report.

High-risk AI systems, like autonomous cars, medical devices, financial and educational services, will be appraised for potential threats to health, safety, and citizens’ rights. Moreover, the law introduces strict restrictions on so-called generative AI systems, which include examples like ChatGPT. Requirements for these systems include compliance with copyright laws, disclosure about model training information, and regular cybersecurity testing.

The legislative change in the EU follows the November 2022 launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Officials then acknowledged that the extant legislation lacked detailed provisions critical for regulating the use of generative artificial intelligence in materials protected by copyright.

The law won’t be fully operational for at least 12 months, and existing systems like ChatGPT, Gemini, and Copilot will have a grace period of 36 months to align with the new standards. Belgium’s State Secretary for Digitalization, Mathieu Michel, noted, “The adoption of the law on artificial intelligence is an important milestone for the European Union”.

Companies that violate the law face fines of up to 35 million euros or 7% of their annual turnover. This will primarily affect American tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, and OpenAI. EU’s Head of the Global Consumer Goods and Retail Group, Dessislava Savova added, “Attention must now be given to effective implementation and ensuring compliance with the artificial intelligence law”.

The primary purpose of enacting this law is to ensure trust, transparency, and accountability in the use of AI technologies, without stifling innovation.

Related Posts