AI Act approved by the EU Parliament

Approval of AI Act:

On Wednesday, 13th of March, The European Parliament approved the AI Act, marking a significant milestone in establishing comprehensive regulations for artificial intelligence. With 523 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voting in favor of the legislation, 46 opposing, and 49 abstaining, the AI Act has received widespread support.

Risk-Based Approach:

Following a risk-based approach, the AI Act prohibits certain applications of artificial intelligence. Such an example is biometric surveillance while imposing obligations to address the potential threats posed by AI systems to society and individuals.

AI Act Enactment Process:

Before the AI Act can come into effect, it must undergo a final review by lawyer-linguists and receive formal endorsement from the EU Council. Once endorsed, the legislation will become fully enforceable 24 months after it enters into force. However, certain provisions, including bans on prohibited practices, will take effect earlier.

Aim of the Regulation:

The Regulation, which was agreed upon in negotiations with member states in December 2023, aims to safeguard fundamental rights, democracy, the rule of law, and environmental sustainability while fostering innovation and positioning Europe as a leader in the AI sector. It establishes obligations for AI systems based on their level of risk and impact.

Prohibitions in the AI Act:

The AI Act prohibits various AI applications that pose threats to citizens’ rights, including emotion recognition in workplaces and schools, social scoring, and predictive policing based solely on profiling individuals. It also restricts the use of biometric identification systems by law enforcement, permitting such usage only in specified circumstances with strict safeguards in place.

Obligations for High-Risk Systems:

High-risk AI systems, such as those used in critical infrastructure and law enforcement, are subject to clear obligations to assess and mitigate risks, ensure transparency and accuracy, and provide human oversight. Citizens will have the right to lodge complaints regarding AI systems and receive explanations for decisions affecting their rights.

Transparency Requirements:

Additionally, the AI Act imposes transparency requirements on general-purpose AI systems and mandates the labelling of artificial or manipulated media content.

Support for Innovation:

To support innovation and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the regulation calls for establishing regulatory sandboxes and real-world testing opportunities at the national level.

MEPs’ Emphasis:

MEPs emphasized the significance of the AI Act in protecting rights, combatting discrimination, and promoting transparency in AI development. They underscored the importance of ensuring human values remain central to AI advancements.

Future Impact:

As the AI Act progresses toward formal adoption and implementation, its impact on various aspects of society, including governance, education, labour markets, and warfare, will continue to be explored, reflecting the ongoing evolution of governance in the digital age.

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By |2024-03-15T10:54:06+01:00March 15th, 2024|AI, AI Act, Data Governance, Data Protection, EU Parliament|0 Comments

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