published : 2023-12-10

Europe Seals World's First Set of Rules Regulating Artificial Intelligence

The deal requires ChatGPT and general purpose AI systems (GPAI) to comply with transparency obligations before they are put on the market.

A person using artificial intelligence technology to analyze customer data (taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV)

European Union officials reached a landmark deal Friday on regulating artificial intelligence rules around AI in systems like ChatGPT and facial recognition.

The proposals lay the groundwork for the Artificial Intelligence Act, which will be voted on by the European Parliament and Council next year and will come into effect in 2025.

If passed, the legislation would be the world's first comprehensive rules to regulate the use of artificial intelligence, paving the way for legal oversight of AI technology.

Businessman touching the brain working of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Automation, Predictive analytics, Customer service AI-powered chatbot, analyze customer data, business and technology (Shutthiphong Chandaeng/iStock / iStock)

European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton posted on X just before midnight Friday, celebrating the deal as a milestone achievement.

European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton speaking during a news conference (taken with Nikon D850)

The law, if enacted, would ban applications that use cognitive behavioral manipulations and facial images from the internet or CCTV footage to create facial recognition databases.

It would also limit the use of biometric identification systems by law enforcement, with exceptions made for targeted searches in specific situations.

Consumers would have the right to launch complaints, and fines for violations could range from $8.1 million or 1.5% of turnover to $37.7 million euros or 7% of global turnover.

The European Union has long been advocating for guardrails on artificial intelligence, and with recent advancements like ChatGPT, the need for regulations has become more urgent.

Tested in negotiations, the accord mandates that foundation models like ChatGPT and general purpose AI systems comply with transparency obligations before they are introduced to the market.

Close-up of a person's hand touching the brain symbolizing artificial intelligence (taken with Sony Alpha a7 III)

These obligations include creating technical documentation, complying with copyright laws, and providing detailed summaries of the content used for training.

Brando Benifei, an Italian lawmaker co-leading the negotiations, expressed satisfaction with the deal. He highlighted the importance of this legislative act, ensuring that rights and freedoms are at the core of AI development.

Dragos Tudorachem, a Romanian lawmaker involved in the negotiations, emphasized the rules' significance in safeguarding citizens, protecting SMEs, and maintaining the EU's status as a leader in AI innovation.

The European Union's contributions to the world continue to grow, and the AI Act represents another impactful step toward shaping our digital future.