The Members of European Parliament (MEPs) adopted its negotiating position on the European Union’s (‘EU’) Artificial Intelligence Act with 499 votes in favour, 28 against and 93 abstentions on 14-06-2023. It is the world’s first comprehensive AI legislation. The first EU regulatory framework for AI was proposed in April, 2021. The Parliament aimed at ensuring that the AI systems used in the EU were safe, transparent, traceable, non-discriminatory and environmentally friendly.

The Act aims at promoting the uptake of human-centric and trustworthy AI and protecting health, safety, fundamental rights and democracy from the harmful effects of AI.

It establishes obligations for providers and users depending on the level of risk from their proposed use of artificial intelligence. If the framework finds any AI system to be under Unacceptable risk i.e., the systems which are considered a threat to people, they will be banned. Such unacceptable risks would include:

  • Cognitive behavioural manipulation of people or specific vulnerable groups: for example, voice-activated toys that encourage dangerous behaviour in children
  • Social scoring: classifying people based on behaviour, socio-economic status or personal characteristics
  • Real-time and remote biometric identification systems, such as facial recognition.

There are certain exceptions that may be allowed but only after the Court’s approval.

It also bifurcates the AI systems into High Risks that negatively affect safety or fundamental rights, will be assessed before being put on the market and also throughout their lifecycle. The Generative AI, like the ChatGPT, would have to disclose that the content was generated by AI, prevent from generating illegal content, and publish summaries of copyrighted data used for training. The framework also imposes full ban on AI for biometric surveillance, emotion recognition, and predictive policing.

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