EU Parliament Approves Landmark AI Act

March 13, 2024 thehrobserver-hrobserver-europeanunion

The European Union parliament said on Wednesday it has approved the Artificial Intelligence Act that ensures safety and compliance with fundamental rights, while boosting innovation.

The regulation,which was negotiated with member states in December 2023, received endorsement from MEPs with 523 votes in favor, 46 against, and 49 abstentions.

It aims to “protect fundamental rights, democracy, the rule of law and environmental sustainability from high-risk AI,” the parliament said in the statement.

The regulation should  establish obligations for AI based on its potential risks and level of impact.

The legislation imposes restrictions on the deployment of biometric identification systems by law enforcement, prohibits social scoring, and regulates the use of AI to manipulate or exploit user vulnerabilities.

“Emotion recognition in the workplace and schools, social scoring, predictive policing, and AI that manipulates human behaviour or exploits people’s vulnerabilities will also be forbidden,” are all banned according to the statement.

 Moreover, it grants consumers the right to lodge complaints and receive comprehensive explanations.

“We finally have the world’s first binding law on artificial intelligence, to reduce risks, create opportunities, combat discrimination, and bring transparency. Thanks to Parliament, unacceptable AI practices will be banned in Europe and the rights of workers and citizens will be protected,” said the Internal Market Committee co-rapporteur Brando Benifei (S&D, Italy).

The establishment of the AI Office aims to assist companies in preparing to adhere to the regulations prior to their implementation, explained Benifei.

“We have linked the concept of artificial intelligence to the fundamental values that form the basis of our societies,” said Civil Liberties Committee co-rapporteur Dragos Tudorache (Renew, Romania)

The AI Act is viewed as  a starting point for a new model of governance built around technology. The legislators said that they are now focusing on putting this law into practice.


The HR Observer

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