EU Officials Reach ‘Historic’ AI Regulation Deal – On Friday, December 8, negotiators from the European Parliament and Council reached a tentative consensus on regulations concerning the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI). The agreement encompasses the governmental application of AI in biometric surveillance, the regulation of AI systems like ChatGPT, and the transparency guidelines to be observed prior to entering the market.
These guidelines include aspects such as technical documentation, compliance with European Union copyright, and the sharing of training content summaries. The European Union aims to become the inaugural supranational authority with AI laws that delineate its constructive use while safeguarding against potential risks. This agreement was reached after an extensive nearly 24-hour debate on December 8, followed by an additional 15 hours of negotiations.
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The agreement mandates that AI models carrying substantial impact and systemic risks must assess and mitigate those risks, conduct adversarial testing for system resilience, report incidents to the European Commission, uphold cybersecurity measures, and disclose information on energy efficiency. “Correct implementation will be essential – the Parliament will keep a close eye on supporting new business ideas with sandboxes and effective rules for the most powerful models.”
After the deal was made, European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton posted on X (formerly Twitter), “Historic! The #AIAct is much more than a rulebook — it’s a launchpad for EU startups and researchers to lead the global AI race. The best is yet to come!” As per the agreement, general-purpose artificial intelligence carrying risks must adhere to specified codes. Governments are restricted to employing real-time biometric surveillance exclusively in specific scenarios, such as certain criminal activities or severe threats in public spaces.
The agreement prohibits cognitive behavioral manipulation, the extraction of facial images from the internet or CCTV footage, social scoring, and biometric systems drawing inferences about personal details like beliefs and orientation. Consumers retain the right to file complaints and receive explanations. Violations may incur fines ranging from 7.5 million euros ($8.1 million).
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And 1.5% of turnover up to 35 million euros ($37.7 million) or 7% of global turnover, contingent on the nature of the infringement and the company’s size. As per the European Parliament’s announcement, the approved text is set for formal adoption by both the parliament and council to become EU law. The agreement will undergo voting in the parliament’s internal market and civil liberties committees during an upcoming meeting.