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MEPs endorse new AI specific regulations for Europe


MEPs have endorsed new transparency and risk-management rules for AI systems operating in Europe, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, as part of the world’s first comprehensive AI specific regulation.

The EU’s Internal Market Committee and the Civil Liberties Committee adopted a draft negotiating mandate on the first ever rules to ensure AI systems are “overseen by people, are safe, transparent, traceable, non-discriminatory, and environmentally friendly.”

The EU Parliament said: “In their amendments to the Commission’s proposal, MEPs also want to have a uniform definition for AI designed to be technology-neutral, so that it can apply to the AI systems of today and tomorrow.”

MEPs also backed a reformed role for body called the EU AI Office, which they want to monitor how the rulebook is implemented.

MEPs substantially amended the list to include bans on intrusive and discriminatory uses of AI systems such as:

· “Real-time” remote biometric identification systems in publicly accessible spaces;

· “Post” remote biometric identification systems, with the only exception of law enforcement for the prosecution of serious crimes and only after judicial authorisation;

· Biometric categorisation systems using sensitive characteristics (e.g. gender, race, ethnicity, citizenship status, religion, political orientation);

· Predictive policing systems (based on profiling, location or past criminal behaviour);

· Emotion recognition systems in law enforcement, border management, workplace, and educational institutions; and

· Indiscriminate scraping of biometric data from social media or CCTV footage to create facial recognition databases (violating human rights and right to privacy).

MEP Dragos Tudorache, said: “ It’s the first piece of legislation of this kind worldwide, which means that the EU can lead the way in making AI human-centric, trustworthy and safe.

“We have worked to support AI innovation in Europe and to give start-ups, SMEs and industry space to grow and innovate, while protecting fundamental rights, strengthening democratic oversight and ensuring a mature system of AI governance and enforcement.”

MEPs expanded the classification of high-risk areas to include harm to people’s health, safety, fundamental rights or the environment. They also added AI systems to influence voters in political campaigns and in recommender systems used by social media platforms (with more than 45 million users under the Digital Services Act) to the high-risk list.

Before negotiations with the Council on the final form of the law can begin, the mandate needs to be endorsed by the whole Parliament, with the vote expected during the 12-15 June session.

A crack down on AI has already been witnessed in Europe with the Garante, the Italian Data Protection Authority, effectively banning ChatGPT and accused its creators of “unlawful collection of personal data”.

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