EU establishes first-ever regulation governing AI development and use
After multiple back-and-forths between different EU institutions, it seems an agreement on how to regulate AI has been reached. The European Parliament will vote on the proposed regulations early next year, but any legislation will not take effect until at least 2025. If passed this will become the first-ever comprehensive legislation governing AI use.
The two main areas of discussion were the use of AI in generative AI models like ChatGPT and in biometric identification tools, such as facial recognition and fingerprint scanning.
Still, some EU countries including Germany, Italy, and France are not fully in support of the move arguing that it would be better for AI companies to self-regulate under the guidance of a government code of conduct.
The three countries are concerned that, directly regulating AI generative models could discourage innovation and undermine Europe’s ability to compete with their Chinese and US counterparts. Germany and France are home to some of Europe’s most promising AI startups, including DeepL and Mistral AI.
This is not the EU’s first attempt to regulate AI. Back in 2021, the union proposed the EU AI Act which would govern AI based on different levels of risk starting from “unacceptable” and ending with “low risk”.
However, the release of ChatGPT in 2022 has made AI mainstream and accelerated AI innovation in an unprecedented way forcing the union to rethink the original proposal.
The new regulation includes safeguards on the use of AI within the EU as well as limitations on its adoption by law enforcement agencies.
Consumers will have the right to launch complaints if the technology threatens their safety or rights, and fines could be imposed for violations.