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Europe Sets Global Benchmark with Landmark AI Laws Emphasizing Trust, Transparency, and Accountability

Europe’s groundbreaking AI laws are set to take effect next month, establishing a comprehensive framework that emphasizes trust, transparency, and accountability in AI technology. The European Union’s AI Act, endorsed by EU countries, is poised to become a global benchmark, contrasting sharply with the United States’ voluntary compliance approach and China’s focus on social stability and state control.

The AI Act, initially drafted by the European Commission in 2021 and endorsed by EU lawmakers in December, aims to address the dual challenge of managing AI’s risks and leveraging its opportunities for societal and economic benefits. Belgian digitization minister Mathieu Michel highlighted the law’s significance in fostering trust and innovation.

The Act introduces stringent transparency obligations for high-risk AI systems, while general-purpose AI models face lighter requirements. It restricts the use of real-time biometric surveillance by governments to specific scenarios involving serious crimes and terrorist threats. Additionally, the legislation bans AI applications in social scoring, predictive policing, and the untargeted scraping of facial images from public spaces.

Legal experts, like Patrick van Eecke from Cooley, assert that the AI Act will have a global impact, compelling companies outside the EU to comply if they use EU customer data in their AI platforms. The legislation’s influence is expected to extend beyond Europe, much like the GDPR’s global reach in privacy regulation.

The AI Act’s provisions will be phased in, with bans on certain AI uses taking effect six months after the law’s implementation. General-purpose AI model obligations will apply after 12 months, and rules for AI systems in regulated products will take effect in 36 months. Violations of the Act will incur fines ranging from €7.5 million or 1.5% of turnover to €35 million or 7% of global turnover, depending on the nature of the violation.

As the AI Act comes into force, it represents a significant step towards comprehensive AI regulation, setting a precedent for other countries and regions to follow. By prioritizing ethical AI practices, Europe aims to create a balanced environment where technology can thrive while safeguarding public trust and democratic principles.

Source : https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/eu-countries-back-landmark-artificial-intelligence-rules-2024-05-21/

(The story is published based on the data from a syndicated feed. However there can be minor changes from the original source article.)

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