Home Europe Europe’s Landmark AI Rules Will Come Into Force By Next Month

Europe’s Landmark AI Rules Will Come Into Force By Next Month

Europe, AI
FILE PHOTO: AI (Artificial Intelligence) letters and robot hand miniature in this illustration taken, June 23, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Europe’s landmark rules on AI will come into force next month. The rules were first formulated in draft form under the EU AI Act in 2021.  European member countries passed this in a provisional deal in December last year. The rules include regulating the government’s use of biometric surveillance and regulation of AI systems such as ChatGPT.

Landmark AI Act

Belgian digitisation minister Mathieu Michel said in a statement the landmark law adequately addressed a global technological challenge. “With the AI Act, Europe emphasizes the importance of trust, transparency and accountability when dealing with new technologies while at the same time ensuring this fast-changing technology can flourish and boost European innovation.”

Concerns about AI

Concerns about AI contributing to misinformation, manipulation, and harming vulnerable groups have been there in Europe for some time.  However, these concerns have intensified in recent times.

Artificial engineer Shane Jones published a letter on LinkedIn highlighting concerns with Microsoft’s Copilot Designer. This is a tool that can create images based on text prompts. They can create violent and sexualised images without safeguards. Microsoft disputes this.

Other concerns are there with OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s chatbot Gemini. Gemini stored private conversations and data on cloud. There is little clarity on what data has been stored.

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Strict transparency with new rules

The EU says the AI Act will impose strict transparency obligations on high-risk AI systems. The other important point in the EU AI Act is that it restricts governments’ use of real-time biometric surveillance in public spaces. Such surveillance can only be used in cases of certain crimes, prevention of terrorist attacks and searches for people suspected of the most serious crimes.

Observers predict that the EU legislation will have an impact beyond the bloc. Patrick van Eecke at law firm Cooley says that the Act will have a global reach.

“Companies outside the EU who use EU customer data in their AI platforms will need to comply. Other countries and regions are likely to use the AI Act as a blueprint, just as they did with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).”