European Lawmakers Approve Landmark AI Legislation

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European Lawmakers Approve Landmark AI Legislation






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msmash

from the how-about-that dept.

European lawmakers approved the world’s most comprehensive legislation yet on AI (non-paywalled link), setting out sweeping rules for developers of AI systems and new restrictions on how the technology can be used. From a report: The European Parliament on Wednesday voted to give final approval to the law after reaching a political agreement last December with European Union member states. The rules, which are set to take effect gradually over several years, ban certain AI uses, introduce new transparency rules and require risk assessments for AI systems that are deemed high-risk. The law comes amid a broader global debate about the future of AI and its potential risks and benefits as the technology is increasingly adopted by companies and consumers. Elon Musk recently sued OpenAI and its chief executive Sam Altman for allegedly breaking the company’s founding agreement by prioritizing profit over AI’s benefits for humanity. Altman has said AI should be developed with great caution and offers immense commercial possibilities.

The new legislation applies to AI products in the EU market, regardless of where they were developed. It is backed by fines of up to 7% of a company’s worldwide revenue. The AI Act is “the first regulation in the world that is putting a clear path towards a safe and human-centric development of AI,” said Brando Benifei, an EU lawmaker from Italy who helped lead negotiations on the law. The law still needs final approval from EU member states, but that process is expected to be a formality since they already gave the legislation their political endorsement. While the law only applies in the EU it is expected to have a global impact because large AI companies are unlikely to want to forgo access to the bloc, which has a population of about 448 million people. Other jurisdictions could also use the new law as a model for their AI regulations, contributing to a wider ripple effect.

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