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Europe Set to Implement Ban and Regulation on AI if Needed..

Brussels: The European Parliament has ratified groundbreaking legislation aimed at regulating and potentially prohibiting artificial intelligence (AI), marking a historic moment in technological governance. This comprehensive law, known as the ‘AI Act’, represents a pivotal step towards balancing innovation with safeguarding against AI-related risks, including those posed by advanced systems like OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Under the provisions of this legislation, high-risk AI providers must undergo rigorous risk assessments before introducing their products to the public. The enforcement mechanism of the law hinges on a risk-based approach, ensuring that stricter regulations are applied to AI technologies deemed to pose significant threats. Violations of these regulations could result in substantial fines ranging from 7.5 million to 35 million euros.

The European Parliament’s decisive vote in favour of the AI Act, with 523 members in support and 46 opposed, underscores the significance of this regulatory milestone. Following its passage in Strasbourg, France, the law is slated for publication in the official journal of the EU in May and June, with anticipation for unanimous approval by all 27 member states in April. Once enacted, the law will be phased in over a two-year period, with enforcement prioritising the assessment and mitigation of AI-related risks.

This legislation represents a response to the growing prominence of AI technologies and their potential societal impacts. In particular, the emergence of powerful AI models such as ChatGPT, along with innovations like DALL-E and Midjourney, which generate new content daily, underscored the urgent need for regulatory oversight. Spearheaded by MEPs Dragos Tudorache of Romania and Brando Benifei of Italy, the AI Act is hailed as the most significant regulation in the history of AI.

Key provisions of the AI Act include strict prohibitions on AI tools that utilise biometric data to infer sensitive personal attributes such as race, religion, or sexual orientation. Additionally, real-time facial recognition in public spaces will be banned, with limited exceptions subject to judicial authorisation. It is essential to note the balanced approach taken in parliamentary deliberations, ensuring that law enforcement considerations are duly weighed alongside privacy and ethical concerns.

EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton has commended the parliamentarians who supported the AI Act, emphasising the EU’s pioneering role in establishing global standards for AI regulation. By enacting this landmark legislation, the European Union reaffirms its commitment to fostering responsible AI innovation while prioritising the protection of individuals and society at large.

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