EU approves world’s first artificial intelligence law | Technology

The European Union will be the first region in the world to fully regulate the applications of artificial intelligence (AI). The states and the European Parliament reached a tentative agreement between Friday and Saturday midnight, after three days of intense and tough negotiations, the final text of which must be ratified by both sides before it can come into effect. By the end of 2026. This text defines the duties and rules of a technology that completely transforms everyday life. . „The regulation aims to ensure that AI systems used in the EU are safe and respect fundamental rights and European values” Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Closing this law is one of the priorities of the Spanish European presidency, which expires this December.

Twenty-seven pledges that it wants to guarantee possibilities and limit risks as much as possible by negotiating „future-proof” legislation with enough flexibility to regulate currently unknown activities or technologies. Or to adapt to the changes experienced by existing ones. But the devil, as always, is in the details, and what witnesses described as an endless tug-of-war that began on Wednesday and ended close to midnight on Friday and Saturday continued. It is up to states and MEPs – and sometimes a fight between each party – to decide what exceptions and safeguards should be put in place to guarantee that individual fundamental rights are not at risk or are not and do not harm the economy or the interests of states. The fine print is still unknown, but after 36 hours of negotiations, the longest of these formats in memory, all parties satisfied themselves that a „balance” had been achieved between the two objectives.

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Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence Carme Artigas said, “This is a good law that encourages innovation and is consistent with fundamental rights.

„The EU is the first continent to establish clear rules for the use of AI,” said Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, one of the main promoters of the regulations. , which is a spaceship Beginnings „European companies and researchers lead the global race for AI.” Above all, Artigas noted, because it gives citizens and companies „legal and technical certainty,” it will predictably save many legal proceedings. The commission’s president, Ursula van der Leyen, hailed the regulation as a „world pioneer”. The head of the European administration welcomed the „unique legal framework for the development of trustworthy AI” at X. „Europe led and delivered,” said Roberta Metzola, president of the European Parliament, according to which the AI ​​law, as it is known in English, is „avant-garde and responsible legislation that imposes global standards.”

There were also gestures of relief among those in charge of the negotiations, not only because they could finally go home, but because everyone insisted, they sure did. They had done some homework well with many obstacles.

Among them, as expected, the most difficult question is how to regulate general-purpose AI models (generative AI or foundational models) based on popular tools like ChatGPT and biometric tracking systems. (Facial recognition etc. ), in the end it ended up being a very difficult negotiation and the discussions lasted until this Friday, due to the strong suspicions induced by these technologies – and in some cases already in fact, in some countries the democratic muscles are less visible. Allow state oversight and control that directly conflict with citizens’ fundamental rights.

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Finally, negotiation failure is avoided. Indeed, the issue of constitutive models was settled early Wednesday through Thursday and debates lingered on another red line for parliamentarians: the practical applications of AI in surveillance through biometric systems such as facial recognition.

„It seeks to ensure that fundamental rights, democracy, the rule of law and environmental sustainability are protected from high-risk AI, while driving innovation and making Europe a leader,” the European Parliament celebrated.

In the final text, the MEPs say that some of their main red lines confirm that many biometric surveillance systems will be banned, which they consider irrelevant in any case: biometric classification systems (political, religious, philosophical beliefs or sexual orientation or race); systems for expanding or creating facial databases by blindly capturing data via the Internet or audiovisual recordings and television; Recognizing emotions in the workplace and educational institutions; He Social score (systems that score people based on social behavior or personal characteristics); Systems that manipulate human behavior and AI are used to exploit people’s vulnerabilities (for example due to their age or social or economic situation).

On the other hand, although real-time biometric surveillance systems would be allowed in public places, they could only be used by law enforcement and would be surrounded by very limited and strict safeguards: judicial authorization and a list of crimes would be required. Authorization can be very restrictive. In the „ex-post” application, only a search of a person accused or suspected of having committed a serious crime is permitted. As for real-time surveillance, its use will be limited to „time and location” and will only be allowed to search for victims of kidnapping, human trafficking or sexual exploitation, real and foreseeable, or the threat of deterring a real terrorist. and it is already occurring, or the location or identification of a person suspected of specific crimes: terrorism, kidnapping, murder, kidnapping, rape, armed robbery or environmental crime, etc.).

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No other country has more complete control than European countries. US President Joe Biden signed an order in October that requires tech companies to notify the government of any developments that could pose a „serious threat to national security”. A few days later, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called a summit from which the 28 nations and the European Union made the first commitment to these organizations (the Bletchley Declaration) and created a panel of experts to monitor their progress.

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