EU AI Act updated with public facial recognition ban

Lawmakers in the European Union have forwarded their measures for artificial intelligence (AI), such as ChatGPT, to the next phase after concluding a vote from two lawmakers’ committees. 

In a vote on May 11, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) agreed to include in the highly anticipated AI Act banning the use of facial recognition in public spaces, along with predictive policing tools. 

MEPs also agreed to impose new transparency measures which will affect generative AI tools. The measures were proposed in the previous meeting and entailed that AI tools must be classified according to their perceived risk level ranging from low to unacceptable.

MEP Kim van Sparrentak called the vote a “milestone” in AI regulation and said that “fundamental rights” should be emphasized when creating such regulations.

“AI should serve people, society, and the environment, not the other way around.”

The Act has been under negotiation for the last two years and is finally moving to the next stage of the process, which entails finalizing details between the European Commission and member states.

Once finalized, the EU’s AI Act will be some of the premiere finalized legislation impacting AI usage and development.

Related: Snapchat influencer turns simps into cash using an AI doppelganger

These developments in the EU come as AI tools and applications are skyrocketing in availability and usage. 

On May 10, at the Google I/O conference, the company announced a number of new AI-based features which will be integrated across its major platforms. A week prior, Microsoft gave users free access to its GPT-4.

The technology is already having trials in real-life applications, such as an AI chatbot working as a drive-thru operator at the fast food franchise Wendy’s.

Lawmakers around the world are paying attention to this AI boom and also considering regulations for emerging technology. The United Kingdom, the United States and China have all voiced the need for regulations.

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