Europe Seeks to Regulate AI With New Law

The European Parliament agreed to the final text of its artificial intelligence regulation on February 2. The Internal Market and Civil Liberties Committees AI Act approved it 71 to 8 on February 13, meaning that the most significant piece of AI regulation in the world will gradually go into force over the next two years.

Global reach: Europe has an enormously populous and influential market, so new regulations inevitably affect Internet users around the world.

The European Union “aims to set global standards for AI use in industries ranging from banking, to manufacturing, medicine and travel,” wrote Deutsche Welle on February 2. The EU has been one of the quickest to move on this, meaning much of the rest of the world is expected to copy it.

Good news? The AI Act bans uses of AI that endanger human rights, such as social credit systems and classification of citizens based on biometric data. It defines rules on copyright law relating to AI-created artwork, and it requires that deepfakes be clearly labeled.

“High-risk AI systems” will also be regulated. This includes the sectors of finance, health care and critical infrastructure.

However, most of the restrictions have significant exceptions. According to a summary from the Future of Life Institute:

  • No biometric categorization systems—“except labeling or filtering of lawfully acquired biometric datasets”
  • No AI-powered prediction of criminal activity—“except when used to augment human assessments based on objective, verifiable facts”
  • No analysis of emotions in workplaces or educational settings—“except for medical or safety reasons”

Germany: In 2019, before the AI Act was even introduced, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry drew attention to Europe’s leading role in regulating the online world with an article titled “Germany Is Taking Control of the Internet.”

“Through various pieces of legislation, the EU now has extraordinary influence in the homes of Internet users and within every corporation and government on Earth,” he wrote.

Mr. Flurry warned that the EU, despite appearing as the voice of reason amid the chaos of the online world, is in fact a cloak for German ambitions to gain greater control over the Internet, and now over artificial intelligence.