European Commission Unveils Stringent Policies To Regulate Use Of AI

The Commission says the "vast" majority of AI systems will fall under this category. Programs that fall under this section include things like spam filters. Here, the body doesn't plan to impose regulation.

European Commission Unveils Stringent Policies To Regulate Use Of AI - SurgeZirc UK
European Commission Unveils Stringent Policies To Regulate Use Of AI / Photo credit: Seattletimes

While most governments around the world still consider how to go about regulating Artificial Intelligence (AI), European Commission has unveiled its rules that would put strict limits on the technology.

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On Wednesday, the European Commission, the body’s executive branch, detailed a regulatory approach that calls for a four-tier system that groups AI software into separate risk categories and applies an appropriate level of rules to each of them.

The first of it all would be systems that pose an “unacceptable” risk to people’s rights and safety. The EU would outright ban these types of algorithms under the Commission’s proposed legislation. An example of software that would fall under this category is any AI that would allow governments and companies to implement social scoring systems.

Next, is a category for high-risk AIs. This appears to be the most expansive in terms of both the variety of included software and proposed limits as the Commission claims that these systems will be subject to a strict rule that will touch on everything from the dataset used to train them to what constitutes an appropriate level of human oversight and how they relay information to the end-user.

In the same category, there are law enforcement-related AIs and all forms of remote biometric identification. Police would not be allowed to use the latter in public spaces, though the EU would carve out some exceptions for national security concerns and the like.

Then there’s a category for limited-risk AIs like chatbots. The legislation will require that these programs disclose you’re talking to an AI so that you can make an informed decision on whether you want to continue using them or not. Lastly, there’s a section for programs that pose a minimal risk to people.

The Commission says the “vast” majority of AI systems will fall under this category. Programs that fall under this section include things like spam filters. Here, the body doesn’t plan to impose regulation.

“AI is a means, not an end,” Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said in a statement. “Today’s proposals aim to strengthen Europe’s position as a global hub of excellence in AI from the lab to the market, ensure that AI in Europe respects our values and rules, and harness the potential of AI for industrial use.”

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The legislation, which the EU is likely to take years to debate and implement, could see companies face fines of up to six per cent of their global sales for breaking the rules. In GDPR, the EU already has some of the most stringent data privacy policies in the world, and it’s considering similar measures when it comes to content moderation and anti-trust laws.

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