EU Parliament Passes World’s First Major Act To Regulate AI – Strategic News Global

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The EU parliament passed the world’s first AI regulatory act called the Artificial Intelligence Act on Wednesday. The measure was endorsed by MEPs with 523 votes in favour, 46 against and 49 abstentions. According to the EU’s official website, “the new rules ban certain AI applications that threaten citizens’ rights, including biometric categorisation systems based on sensitive characteristics and untargeted scraping of facial images from the internet or CCTV footage to create facial recognition databases.”

The ruling is significant as concerns over the use of deepfakes and AI have already arisen. Concern has risen over photos having emerged on social media with President Trump posing with black voters that media reports have stated were deepfakes generated by AI. The BBC quoted Black Voters Matters, which said that the “manipulated images were pushing a ‘strategic narrative’ designed to show Mr Trump as popular in the black community.”

Reacting to the passing of the legislation, Roberta Metsola, president of the European Parliament, wrote on X. “Promised. Negotiated. Approved. Proud of Europe’s trailblazing #AIAct. It means leadership, innovation & new avenues. But equally respect for fundamental rights. Artificial intelligence is already very much part of our daily lives. Now, it will be part of our legislation too.”

Other EU figures also responded in a similar manner. “Europe is NOW a global standard-setter in AI,” Thierry Breton, the European commissioner for internal markets wrote on X.

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The legislation will still have to be ratified by the European Council after which it will then come into force in May and according to CNBC then be ratified in stages by 2025.

The ratification of the act comes one week after the passing of the Digital Markets Act which will rein US-based players such as Alphabet’s Google, Amazon, Apple, TikTok owner ByteDance, Meta Platforms and Microsoft. According to a Reuters report, what this will mean is that Meta has to make Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp interoperable with eligible rivals in Europe.

Google, for instance, can’t force users to select its own search engine on Android phones when they set up their devices and must show alternatives, like DuckDuckGo, or Ecosia according to a CNBC report.

Google has argued that this will unnecessarily complicate matters according to the report. Because of the new regulations, users will have to go to various search engines to find what they want to see. The search engine has already removed certain sites from its search items such as booking.com – an Amsterdam-based company – for its EU users.

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