We missed this earlier:
On June 14, 2023, after years of negotiations, the Parliament of the European Union voted and adopted the proposed Artificial Intelligence Act. Out of the 620 votes cast, 499 voted in favour, 28 against, with 93 abstentions. The next step for the Union would be talks – to give the law final shape before induction.
After the vote, co-rapporteur Brando Benifei (S&D, Italy) said, “We want AI’s positive potential for creativity and productivity to be harnessed but we will also fight to protect our position and counter dangers to our democracies and freedoms during the negotiations with Council”.
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What is the outline of the draft?
The regulations follow a “risk-based approach” for analysing AI systems, their classification, and the formation of rules. It states that all the high-risk AI systems, like the ones used to influence voters in elections will be assessed not only before being put on the market but also throughout their lifecycle.
Generative AI systems have to follow transparency requirements and ensure safeguards against illegal content.
Moreover, the regulations include a list of AI systems that pose an “unacceptable level of risk to people’s safety,” and therefore have been prohibited. The list includes – ‘’real-time’ remote biometric identification systems in publicly accessible spaces; predictive policing systems; emotion recognition systems in law enforcement, border management, the workplace, and educational institutions; amongst others. Members of the European Parliament have also added intrusive and discriminatory uses of AI to the list.
The Parliament is also set to reform the current EU AI office into a Board. It will work in collaboration with the national supervisory authorities of each EU member state – to facilitate the implementation of the law across the continent.
Years of drafts and revisions
It was in April 2021 that the European Commission proposed the first EU regulatory framework for AI. The foundation of the regulations is said to be the same as the EU’s rights and values, including human oversight, safety, privacy, transparency, non-discrimination and social and environmental well-being. Several amendments and additions have been made to the initial draft over the last two years. But now that it is nearly finalised, the legislation can act as a precedent for many to refer.
Why it matters?
It is no longer the age of technology in general, but that of the AI. The European Union is clearly looking at AI as an area with extensive potential – with the good and the bad, and consequently, as something that needs as extensive guidelines to regulate. Taking a different stand, India’s Minister of State for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar, however, established that the nation will only have a chapter for AI regulation in the Digital India Act, and not a separate legislation. Given how the scope of AI systems has reached a stage where it can recognise emotions for various purposes, influence voters, and more, is it a good idea for India to take it lightly?
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