EU Considers New AI Regulations
New Rules for Specific Use Cases of AI
Yesterday, the European Union proposed a bill which would limit the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement and ban some artificial intelligence systems. It marks the broadest effort by a government to regulate use cases for AI. The bill would contain a list of what the EU government is calling “high risk” uses of AI. These use cases would be subject to specific rules.
AI systems for infrastructure, loan applications, and college admissions would be monitored under the proposed law. Companies failing to comply with the new rules could face fines of up to 6% of their annual worldwide revenue depending on the violation.
The bill is part of the EU’s efforts to reign in the practices of global technology companies and prevent new technologies from harming consumers.
How the Rule Could Impact Tech Companies
It could take years for the proposed bill to become a law. It needs the approval of the European Council, which represents the 27 nations in the bloc, and the elected Parliament. If the bill passes, it will have big implications for technology companies developing AI systems, including Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOGL), Facebook (FB) and Microsoft (MSFT). These companies have made significant investments in AI for industries including healthcare, finance, and insurance.
Despite some concerns, technology industry lobbyists were relieved the bill only targets high-risk AI systems. The EU said most AI systems, including those used for videogames and spam filters, will not be subject to the new rules.
High-Risk AI Systems to Face Scrutiny
If the law is passed, companies creating AI systems which land on the EU’s high-risk list would need to provide documentation to the government detailing how their system works. They would have to comply with the rules and demonstrate human oversight of the system design and uses. The EU could also send regulators to review algorithms if they are creating systems which identify faces or fingerprints or could put a person’s safety at risk.
As the bill makes the rounds through Parliament, tech companies and consumers around the world will be eager to see how negotiations unfold and what the rule could mean for the future of AI.
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