Europe reaches a deal on the world’s first comprehensive AI rules

European Union negotiators have reached an agreement on the first comprehensive artificial intelligence rules, providing the groundwork for legal oversight of AI technology.

The breakthrough: Negotiators from the European Parliament and the EU’s 27 member countries forged an agreement on key points including generative AI and police use of face recognition surveillance.
* The resulting Artificial Intelligence Act could set a powerful example for many governments considering regulation.
* The EU took the lead in AI regulation when it revealed its initial draft rules in 2021.

Key provisions: Foundation models, the advanced systems that underlie general-purpose AI services, have been expanded upon in the act.
* AI companies will have to provide technical documentation, comply with EU copyright law, and disclose the content used for training.
* More advanced foundation models identified as “systemic risks” will face additional scrutiny, including risk assessments, incident reporting, and cybersecurity measures.
* There will also be requirements for reporting their energy efficiency.

Controversial compromise: One particularly contentious issue was the use of AI-powered face recognition surveillance systems.
* EU lawmakers desired a full ban on public use due to privacy concerns, but member countries argued for exceptions for law enforcement tackling serious crimes.
* Activist groups have raised concerns about the exceptions and other significant loopholes in the AI Act, such as lack of protection for AI systems used in migration and border control.

Looking ahead: The European Parliament will still need to vote on the act early next year.
* Though agreement has been reached, it is seen as a formality.
* If passed, the law would not fully take effect until 2025 at the earliest.
View original article on NPR
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