EU lawmakers vote for landmark AI regulation



  • The European Union Parliament has voted in favour of an AI Act.
  • If ratified, the law will require AI systems like ChatGPT to first undergo review before release to the public.
  • The regulation also seeks a ban on real-time biometric recognition.

The European Parliament has yet again made a landmark move with regard to regulation of the rapidly growing Artificial Intelligence (AI) industry.

This is after a critical vote in the European Parliament on Wednesday saw the approval of European Union’s AI regulation – the EU AI Act.

EU’s AI Act saw 499 lawmakers vote in favor, with 28 against. There were 93 abstentions. According to a CNBC report published June 14, the bloc’s vote now paves the way for the potential formalization of the first AI regulations into law in the West.

But first, it moves to trilogue negotiations, with parliament expected to defend its strong position on the matter in negotiations that will involve the European Commission and the EU Council of Ministers.

Ban on remote biometric identification

The EU’s approach to the AI regulatory framework comes at a time the sector is seeing massive growth and adoption, particularly after the explosive reception that ChatGPT, a generative AI tool by OpenAI, received globally. 

Concerns over the potential impact of unchecked developments has prompted various governments and regulatory bodies to seek policy guidelines. If passed into law, the Act will required AI tools to be reviewed and approved before they are released to the public.

Lawmakers also affirmed the ban on real-time remote biometric identification (RBI).Also banned is predictive policing, internet-scrapped facial recognition, and emotion recognition software, Euractiv reported.

The EU parliament’s vote is the first major move towards this by a tier 1 jurisdiction. The US has recently met with players within the industry, while the UK has also sought to take measures, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak advocating for AI safety regulation on Monday.

An AI Act for the EU comes after the adoption of MiCA, the crypto rules that are set to go into effect in 2024.


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