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Breaking: EU Passes First Major Piece of AI Regulation Breaking: EU Passes First Major Piece of AI Regulation
The European Union (EU) has taken the leap in AI regulation by passing a first-of-its-kind AI regulatory act.  According to CNBC,... Breaking: EU Passes First Major Piece of AI Regulation

The European Union (EU) has taken the leap in AI regulation by passing a first-of-its-kind AI regulatory act.  According to CNBC, this is the world’s first comprehensive set of rules for AI. This week, it was approved in the EU parliament with a robust majority, underscoring Europe’s ambition to become a global leader in setting ethical and operational standards for AI technologies.

The vote came today as the European Parliament cast a decisive vote, with 523 members in favor, 46 against, and 49 abstentions, to enact the regulatory framework. This move follows a provisional political consensus reached in early December, marking a significant milestone in the EU’s legislative process.

Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for Internal Market, took to X (formerly Twitter) to proclaim, “Europe is NOW a global standard-setter in AI.“. Initiated in 2021, The EU Act categorizes AI technologies based on their risk levels, ranging from unacceptable to high, medium, and low.

This classification aims to ensure that the deployment of AI technologies aligns with societal values and ethical standards, prohibiting technologies deemed to pose unacceptable risks.

Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, celebrated the act as “trailblazing,” emphasizing its role in harmonizing innovation with the safeguarding of fundamental rights. In a post on social media, she said, “Artificial intelligence is already very much part of our daily lives. Now, it will be part of our legislation too,”.

In a LinkedIn post, Barry Scannell an AI law expert and member of Ireland’s AI Advisory Council detailed the following as being prohibited AI systems under this new act by the end of 2024.

AI systems ban after 2024

  • Exploitation of Vulnerabilities
  • Biometric Categorisation
  • Manipulative and Deceptive Practices
  • Emotion Inference in Workplaces and Educational Institutions
  • Social Scoring
  • Real-time Biometric Identification
  • Facial Recognition Databases
  • Risk assessment in Criminal Offences

Many of these programs were major concerns for both civil rights advocates and data rights activists. Many other provisions of the AI Act will come into effect within the next three to four years with hefty penalties for non-compliance. Finds could reach as high as €35 million or 7% of global turnover.

With the passage of the EU’s AI regulatory act, it is likely that states in North America, and the APAC region will likely follow suit within the next couple of years; especially considering the expected growth of the AI market and its effect on multiple industries.

ODSC Team

ODSC Team

ODSC gathers the attendees, presenters, and companies that are shaping the present and future of data science and AI. ODSC hosts one of the largest gatherings of professional data scientists with major conferences in USA, Europe, and Asia.

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