Europe to adopt landmark AI law that ‘ensures safety’ while ‘boosting innovation’

The European Parliament has approved a provisional AI legislation that ensures safety and compliance with fundamental rights while boosting innovation.

In an announcement, the trade body revealed the Artificial Intelligence Act was endorsed by MEPs with 523 votes in favour, 46 against and 49 abstentions.

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The regulation aims to protect fundamental rights, democracy, the rule of law and environmental sustainability from high-risk AI, which includes critical infrastructure, education and vocational training, alongside certain systems in law enforcement, migration and border management.

Meanwhile, it also hopes to boost innovation across Europe “as a leader in the field”.

Civil Liberties Committee, Co-Rapporteur Dragos Tudorache (Renew, Romania) said: “The EU has delivered. We have linked the concept of artificial intelligence to the fundamental values that form the basis of our societies. However, much work lies ahead that goes beyond the AI Act itself.

“AI will push us to rethink the social contract at the heart of our democracies, our education models, labour markets, and the way we conduct warfare. The AI Act is a starting point for a new model of governance built around technology. We must now focus on putting this law into practice”.

Internal Market Committee Co-Rapporteur Brando Benifei (S&D, Italy) added: “We finally have the world’s first binding law on artificial intelligence, to reduce risks, create opportunities, combat discrimination, and bring transparency. Thanks to Parliament, unacceptable AI practices will be banned in Europe and the rights of workers and citizens will be protected.

“The AI Office will now be set up to support companies to start complying with the rules before they enter into force. We ensured that human beings and European values are at the very centre of AI’s development”.