Insights on the EU’s new AI act: Five key points

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Insights on the EU's new AI act: Five key points

The Wild West of artificial intelligence is this. Whether you agree or disagree with this metaphor, there is some validity to the idea that this rapidly developing and wealthy environment lacks a sound legal and ethical foundation. Frameworks that are moral, secure, and reliable are required both today and in the future in this ever changing industry.

Scope and definition of AI

The first of its type, the European Union’s AI Act was approved at the end of last year. It affects businesses, developers, and users equally and was, in my opinion, passed hurriedly. This legislation is now being implemented and will become operative in the current year as well as future ones. This measure will affect everyone, whether you’re an entrepreneur, an AI enthusiast, or just a regular tech user located in Europe or somewhere else. 

A legislative framework called the EU AI Act was created to control AI research and application within the EU. It presents a risk rating system for AI systems, with a prohibition for those ranked as high risk and equivalent rules for low risk. Its objective is to guarantee the safety, morality, and respect for basic human rights of AI technology. A lot of individuals, the European Union included, as well as other nations and organizations, have expressed worry about the way artificial intelligence is developing right now. The EU then sought to enact legislation in response to that.

Regulatory framework and requirements

Businesses such as Open AI will have to reveal how they utilize your information. Businesses are prohibited from using AI systems for social scoring, which assigns a person a score based on their behavior or other characteristics in an effort to identify and target particular demographics. Do you recall that episode of Black Mirror? The European Union does. More publicly available data on tech businesses and their AI operations, including energy use, will be made available so that you can decide which AI to support and which to avoid. 

Your data will not be used by governments to categorize you into groups or scores that could be harmful to you. Live facial recognition technology will not be permitted for IT businesses. AI is not authorized to forecast your emotions or mood. Furthermore, it is prohibited for AI to infer someone’s race, sexual orientation, or political views. Regulations like these are limiting this interruption of personal freedom and boosting technical transparency since, often, you don’t even notice when this technology is being used on you.

Transparency and accountability measures

This AI Act is expected to have a ripple effect on other countries and important institutions, similar to how the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018 forced nations like Brazil to follow suit. It is a ground-breaking milestone in AI ethics and legislation. It should come as no surprise that OpenAI’s Sam Altman opposed the EU AI Act when it was initially proposed in the spring of last year, threatening to halt operations in Europe on the grounds that his business would have to enhance ChatGPT-4’s security protections. There’s no need to fear, though, as ChatGPT will continue to function throughout Europe. The amount of energy used by foreign and European businesses to train their AI models will need to be disclosed. By requiring openness, we will be able to learn more about the energy use of a business that uses AI technologies.

Ethical and societal implications

 European businesses, such as Siemens of Germany and Airbus of France, have already voiced protests and worries about the Act, claiming it is overly restrictive and would stunt innovation and economic progress in the continent. European IT firms are finding it difficult to compete with US giants like OpenAI, which have aggressively opposed regulations as previously indicated. On the political front, the European Parliament argues that, despite the current restrictions, this legislative framework would eventually result in long-term, sustainable development in innovation. 

Enforcement and penalties

The EU AI Act is a necessary and promising beginning for AI legal frameworks, but it is not the end all be all. The future of artificial intelligence is yet ahead of us, ideally one that is more moral, open, and always inventive. The final language of the measure may not be seen for weeks or perhaps months. Before the legislation becomes law, it must still undergo technical revisions and get approval from the EU Parliament and member states of Europe. Tech businesses have two years to put the laws into effect after they become enforceable. The six-month restriction on AI usage will go into effect, and businesses creating foundation models will have a year to comply with the rules. 

Research Staff

Research Staff

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