EU Reaches Landmark Deal on Rules Governing Artificial Intelligence
European Union (EU) officials have reached a provisional deal on the world's first comprehensive laws to regulate the use of artificial intelligence (A.I.).
Officials have said that the historic A.I. Act is “much more than a rule book — it’s a launch pad for EU start-ups and researchers to lead the global A.I. race".
The deal followed years of discussions among member states and members of the European parliament on the ways A.I. should be curbed to have humanity’s interest at the heart of the legislation.
EU commissioner, Thierry Breton, said legislators agreed on a two-tier approach, with “transparency requirements for all general-purpose A.I. models (such as ChatGPT)” as well as “stronger requirements for powerful models with systemic impacts” across the EU.
Breton said the rules would implement safeguards for the use of A.I. technology while at the same time avoiding an “excessive burden” for companies.
Among the new rules, legislators agreed to strict restrictions on the use of facial recognition technology, except for narrowly defined law enforcement exceptions.
The legislation also includes bans on the use of A.I. for “social scoring”, which is defined as using metrics to establish how upstanding someone is, and A.I. systems that “manipulate human behaviour to circumvent their free will”. The use of A.I. to exploit those vulnerable because of their age, disability or economic situation is also banned.
Companies that fail to comply with the rules face fines of €35m or 7 percent of global revenue.
The proposals also include rules on governments' use of A.I. in biometric surveillance as well as limitations on its adoption by law enforcement agencies. Consumers would have the right to launch complaints and fines could be imposed for violations.
The European Parliament will vote on the A.I. Act proposals early next year, but any legislation will not take effect until at least 2025. The US, UK and China have not yet published guidelines on the use of A.I.
AmCham believes that there is a significant opportunity for Ireland in the area of A.I. and has outlined its vision to Government for Ireland to be number one in the EU for research in A.I. and cyber by 2050. It is crucial that a correct balance between A.I., innovation and regulation is found in Europe, and that there is consistency in A.I. regulation internationally.
According to a recent AmCham FDI Insights survey, of the AmCham members currently engaged in research projects in Ireland, 33 percent of respondents said they were undertaking research in the area of A.I.
However, A.I. also ranks as the third biggest skills gap among AmCham member companies. In a recent survey of AmCham members, 69 percent of respondents said their organisation is currently experiencing a skills gap. 31 percent of respondents said their biggest skills gap is in engineering, 24 percent of respondents said digital and data, while 16 percent said machine learning and A.I.
To engage with AmCham on topics related to cyber, digital and A.I., please contact Ellen McGrath, Public Affairs and Advocacy Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Digital Services Act Regulation to Take Effect
The European Union’s (EU), Digital Services Act (DSA) has come into force today, requiring big technology firms to do more to police harmful content on their platforms. Under the DSA, companies face fines up to 6 percent of their global turnover for violating the rules while repeated breaches could see them banned from doing business in the EU.
Government to Establish an Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council
The Government has published its progress report on the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy, outlining its priorities for Ireland’s AI strategy for 2023 and 2024. Among the key objectives outlined in the progress report is the establishment of an Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council.