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European Commission proposes the first Artificial Intelligence regulatory law

09 Feb 2024. 13:54
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Artificial Intelligence has made it possible to perform tasks automatically in less time. However, it is necessary to set a limit to regulate its use and protect people against possible abuses.

European Commission has already taken a step forward and has proposed the world's first law regulating Artificial Intelligence. We tell you about it!

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Ley Europea de Inteligencia Artificial
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Artificial Intelligence, an accessible tool

A few years ago, the perspective on Artificial Intelligence was that it was a distant tool that would take a long time to be implemented. But recently, when these platforms started to become more popular and users started to try them out, there were fears that they would replace people in certain tasks and that they would mark a turning point in society. Over time, Artificial Intelligence is understood as a tool that can help more and more people. And, of course, small and medium-sized companies.

Platforms such as ChatGPT or Google Bard, which help you solve your doubts in a few seconds, or Midjourney, which allows you to create images from scratch from a simple description, are some of the examples of a long list of Artificial Intelligence tools that can help you automate certain tasks in your day-to-day life efficiently and increase your productivity. In fact, according to a study by Telefónica, 30% of SMEs already use some kind of Artificial Intelligence tool in their day-to-day work and 60% are planning to incorporate them.

However, like all innovative creations, they harbour a number of dangers. For this reason, European Union has taken action and has proposed the first law regulating Artificial Intelligence in the world, whose main challenge is to establish red lines for the development and use of these systems.

Would you like to know more about it? Here are some facts.

 

Transparency, control and protection: this is what the EU's regulatory law will look like

On 9 December 2023, Council and Parliament of the European Union reached an agreement to establish the world's first rules governing the use of Artificial Intelligence.

This agreement, known as the Artificial Intelligence Regulation, aims to ensure that systems introduced in the European Union are safe and respect Community rights and values. Moreover, it has become a historic achievement, as it will allow the development of these new technologies and areas of innovation while respecting the fundamental rights of citizens.

Therefore, this law is based on a number of fundamental principles. Here are some of them:

  1. Guarantee privacy and security by classifying AI systems according to the risk they may pose to people and the environment. These risk levels would be minimal, limited, high and prohibited.

  2. Promote transparency with the aim of correcting inappropriate practices. Therefore, it should be specified how an AI system works and its data collection process. 

  3. Establish a clear definition to distinguish AI from other software systems.

  4. Create a new governance structure to oversee AI models to ensure compliance with the rules in all Member States.

This law could be the definitive boost for SMEs to feel confident and decide to invest in Artificial Intelligence tools. Having an organisational structure that regulates and promotes the use and development of these systems allows small and medium-sized enterprises to take the plunge and incorporate these platforms into their daily work.

 

The law's next challenges

However, the law still has a long way to go. According to the agreement, it is to be applied 2 years after its entry into force, except for some specific exceptions that may arise. During this time, work will continue in order to finalise all sections and, above all, to be particularly attentive to upcoming developments and updates that may arise.

 

The main objective of this agreement is to ensure that the systems to be introduced in the European Union respect the rights and values of the Community.

 

These tools, which have been instrumental in the development of new work processes, may pose a risk to individuals if they are not used in an ethical and responsible manner. Thus, platforms that indiscriminately track facial images from the internet, recognise emotions or biometrically categorise people to deduce their sensitive data will be completely banned.

It also indicates that a series of exceptions will be established in the police sphere that will allow, with prior authorisation, the use of Artificial Intelligence tools classified as high-risk in emergency situations.

In addition, penalties for breaches of the regulation have been set according to their seriousness. Thus, systems classified as prohibited can lead to fines of 7% of a company's turnover or a maximum of 35 million euros; 3% or 15 million euros for failing to comply with the obligations of the regulation; and 1.5% or 7.5 million euros in the case of submitting inaccurate information. However, the agreement sets proportionate limits in case of an SME infringement.

 

The world's first Artificial Intelligence regulatory law has already begun to take its first steps. It does so with the aim of protecting people and promoting innovation from a socially and environmentally responsible point of view, through the development of new technologies that help reduce the impact of the carbon footprint.

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