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The EU Becomes the Very First Continent to Set Clear Rules for the Use of AI

In a major development, EU Parliament and Council negotiators reached a provisional agreement on pioneering rules to regulate artificial intelligence (AI). This agreement, reached after extensive negotiations, positions the EU as a global leader in AI legislation.

Key aspects of the agreement include mandatory transparency obligations for foundation models and general-purpose AI systems (GPAI) before market release. These obligations involve creating technical documentation, adhering to EU copyright laws, and providing detailed summaries of training content.

For high-impact foundation models posing systemic risks, additional requirements include model evaluations, systemic risk assessments, adversarial testing, reporting serious incidents to the European Commission, ensuring cybersecurity, and disclosing energy efficiency.

The agreement prohibits practices like cognitive behavioral manipulation, indiscriminate scraping of facial images, social scoring, and biometric categorization systems used to infer personal beliefs or characteristics.

Consumers gain the right to file complaints and receive comprehensive explanations, with penalties for violations ranging from 7.5 million euros to 35 million euros, or 1.5% to 7% of global turnover, depending on the severity.

The legislation is set to be formally ratified early next year and will become applicable two years later. This move comes as governments worldwide attempt to balance the benefits of AI, capable of human-like interactions and coding, with the necessity of establishing safeguards.

Europe’s ambitious AI regulations emerge as companies like OpenAI, backed by Microsoft, and Alphabet’s Google, with its new AI model Gemini, continue to push the boundaries of technology. The EU’s approach could serve as a model for other nations, offering an alternative to the U.S.’s lenient stance and China’s interim regulations.

For the European Parliament press release see: Artificial Intelligence Act: deal on comprehensive rules for trustworthy AI

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For 30+ years, I've been committed to protecting people, businesses, and the environment from the physical harm caused by cyber-kinetic threats, blending cybersecurity strategies and resilience and safety measures. Lately, my worries have grown due to the rapid, complex advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Having observed AI's progression for two decades and penned a book on its future, I see it as a unique and escalating threat, especially when applied to military systems, disinformation, or integrated into critical infrastructure like 5G networks or smart grids. More about me, and about Defence.AI.

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