Europe Moves Closer to Establishing Comprehensive AI Regulations

Kamso Oguejiofor-Abugu Kamso Oguejiofor-Abugu Writer

The European Parliament has reached a significant milestone in the establishment of a pan-EU rulebook for artificial intelligence (AI). Parliamentarians voted to confirm their negotiating mandate for the AI Act, endorsing an amended version of the Commission’s proposal that expands the rulebook to ensure AI developed and used in Europe aligns with EU rights and values.

Key changes supported by members of the European Parliament (MEPs) include a total ban on remote biometric surveillance and predictive policing, as well as the prohibition of untargeted scraping of facial images to create facial recognition databases. The use of emotional recognition technology by law enforcement, border agencies, workplaces, and educational institutions was also banned.

MEPs expressed their intent to regulate general-purpose AI models, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT. However, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman expressed concern about the obligations imposed on general-purpose AIs, hinting at potential withdrawal of services if compliance became unfeasible.

With 499 votes in favor, 28 against, and 93 abstentions, the plenary vote demonstrated overwhelming support for the amended version of the legislation. This paves the way for trilogue discussions between the parliament and EU member states governments, marking the next stage in reaching a political agreement on the final text.

EU industry chief Thierry Breton emphasized the global impact of the AI Act and plans to meet Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and OpenAI’s Altman to discuss the draft AI Act.

“AI raises a lot of questions — socially, ethically, economically,” he said. “But now is not the time to hit any pause button. On the contrary, it is about acting fast and taking responsibility.”

The implementation of the AI Act is expected after 2026, while the EU also focuses on voluntary initiatives to encourage AI firms to self-regulate on safety in the interim. As Europe takes this decisive step toward AI regulation, attention remains on striking a balance between harnessing the potential of AI and safeguarding democracy and fundamental rights.

About the Author

About the Author

Kamso Oguejiofor is a former Content Writer at SafetyDetectives. He has over 2 years of experience writing and editing topics about cybersecurity, network security, fintech, and information security. He has also worked as a freelance writer for tech, health, beauty, fitness, and gaming publications, and he has experience in SEO writing, product descriptions/reviews, and news stories. When he’s not studying or writing, he likes to play basketball, work out, and binge watch anime and drama series.