The European Union has agreed to landmark rules for artificial intelligence, marking its first major regulation in the Western world.
The new rules come after a week-long deliberation involving major EU institutions.
It includes regulating generative AI models like ChatGPT and using biometric identification tools like facial recognition and fingerprint scanning.
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Germany, France, and Italy advocated against direct regulation of generative AI models, often called “foundation models.”
The countries have instead proposed a system of self-regulation facilitated by government-introduced codes of conduct.
They are concerned about the stringent regulations that may impede Europe’s competitiveness against Chinese and American tech giants.
Germany and France house some of the continent’s most promising AI startups, including DeepL and Mistral AI.
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The EU AI Act is a groundbreaking legislative initiative addressing AI regulation, culminating years of European efforts.
The law originated in 2021 when the European Commission proposed a unified regulatory and legal framework for AI.
It categorizes AI into risk levels, ranging from “unacceptable” technologies that must be prohibited to high, medium, and low-risk AI applications.
The emergence of generative AI, notably exemplified by OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which gained widespread attention last year, prompted a reevaluation of regulatory approaches.
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These advanced AI tools, including Google’s Bard, Stable Diffusion, and Anthropic’s Claude, have raised concerns among experts and regulators.
This is due to their capacity to produce sophisticated and human-like outputs.
They worry about potential job displacement, the generation of discriminative language, and privacy infringements.
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