European Union’s Landmark Deal on Artificial Intelligence Regulation
Dec. 10, 2023

Why in the News?

  • European Union policymakers agreed a provisional deal on landmark rules governing the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

What’s in Today’s Article?

  • Global Governance Stand on AI (US, EU, China)
  • India’s Stand on AI
  • News Summary (About EU’s AI Act)

Global Governance Stand on Artificial Intelligence:

  • The rapidly evolving pace of Artificial Intelligence development has led to diverging global views on how to regulate these technologies.
  • In May 2023, members of the European Parliament reached a preliminary deal on a new draft of the European Union’s ambitious Artificial Intelligence Act.
    • The Act envisages establishing an EU-wide database of high-risk AI systems and setting parameters so that future technologies can be included if they meet the high-risk criteria.
  • The U.S. does not currently have comprehensive AI regulation and has taken a fairly hands-off approach.
  • On the other end of the spectrum, China over the last year came out with some of the world’s first nationally binding regulations targeting specific types of algorithms and AI.
  • It enacted a law to regulate recommendation algorithms with a focus on how they disseminate information.

India’s Stand on Artificial Intelligence:

  • Earlier, the Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology said that the government is not considering any law to regulate the growth of AI in India.
  • However, before G20 summit in September 2023, Indian govt indicated that it might regulate to AI.
  • Officials said the upcoming Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2022 will apply to AI developers who develop and facilitate AI technologies.
  • As AI developers will be collecting and using massive amounts of data to train their algorithm to enhance the AI solution, they might be classified as data fiduciaries and will be held responsible for how personal data is used.
  • PM Modi recently said India is looking to "take a giant leap in AI to empower its citizens and is poised to be an active contributor to its evolution".
  • India is set to host the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) Summit 2023 in New Delhi from December 12-14.
  • India is a co-founder of GPAI, which brings along 28 member countries and the EU as its members to guide the responsible development and use of AI. 

News Summary:

  • EU member states and lawmakers clinched a deal on December 8 on how to draft "historic" rules regulating artificial intelligence models such as ChatGPT – after a long period of negotiations.
  • The rules, however, won't take effect until 2025 at the earliest, leaving room for a lot of technological evolution until then.

Key highlights

  • The Artificial Intelligence Act was first drafted in 2021 with the aim of bringing transparency, trust, and accountability to AI.
  • It also aims to create a framework to mitigate risks to the safety, health, fundamental rights, and democratic values of the EU.
  • The Act includes a two-tier approach, with transparency requirements for all general-purpose AI models and tougher requirements for the more powerful models.
    • The Act envisages establishing an EU-wide database of high-risk AI systems and setting parameters so that future technologies can be included if they meet the high-risk criteria.
  • The legislation seeks to strike a balance between promoting “the uptake of AI while mitigating or preventing harms associated with certain uses of the technology”.
  • EU AI Office:
    • Under the Act, the EU will be able to monitor and sanction those who violate the law through a new body called the EU AI office that will be attached to the commission.
    • The office will have the power to slap a fine worth seven percent of a company's turnover or 35 million euros, whichever is larger.
  • The law will still need to be formally approved by member states and the EU parliament.

Way Ahead:

  • The new regulations will be closely watched globally. They will affect not only major AI developers but other businesses that are expected to use the technology in areas such as education, health care and banking.
  • The law sets a global benchmark for countries seeking to harness the potential benefits of the technology, while trying to protect against its possible risks, like automating jobs, spreading misinformation online and endangering national security.