EU Leads With AI Act Balancing Innovation and Fundamental Rights


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The European Union has reached a consensus on the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI). The EU Commission, after prolonged deliberations with member states, has established a groundbreaking AI law, the first of its kind worldwide.

The new legislation categorizes AI applications into three risk levels — minimal, high, and unacceptable. The focus is on mitigating potential threats to civil liberties and democratic values. The law specifically bans AI practices that indiscriminately scrape photos for facial recognition databases and systems that categorize individuals based on sensitive traits such as political beliefs or sexual orientation. These measures address growing concerns about AI’s potential to infringe on personal freedoms and privacy.

Moreover, the EU has taken a firm stance against AI systems designed to manipulate human behavior or undermine free will. This includes technologies used for employee surveillance or assessing individuals based on their social conduct. Such decisive action underscores the EU’s commitment to protecting citizens from the invasive and potentially harmful aspects of AI.

However, the legislation is not absolute in its prohibitions. Law enforcement authorities are granted an exception for the use of biometric identification systems, albeit under stringent conditions. These systems can be deployed, with judicial approval, for limited durations and specific locations, primarily for locating individuals or addressing imminent terrorist threats. This exception reflects a nuanced understanding of the need for balance between technological utility and civil rights.

Transparency is a key element of the new AI law. Providers of high-risk AI systems are required to furnish comprehensive technical documentation and disclose the training data used in their models. Additionally, there is a mandate to report serious incidents, ensuring accountability and public safety. The law also emphasizes energy efficiency, aligning with broader environmental goals.

rsula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, lauded the AI law as a crucial step towards establishing global norms for human-centric AI. She highlighted AI’s transformative impact on daily life, noting its potential benefits for the economy and society when used responsibly. Von der Leyen emphasized that the law promotes responsible innovation by safeguarding the safety and fundamental rights of individuals and businesses.

Vishak is a skilled Editor-in-chief at Code and Hack with a passion for AI and coding. He has a deep understanding of the latest trends and advancements in the fields of AI and Coding. He creates engaging and informative content on various topics related to AI, including machine learning, natural language processing, and coding. He stays up to date with the latest news and breakthroughs in these areas and delivers insightful articles and blog posts that help his readers stay informed and engaged.

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