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EU bans AI in biometric surveillance

by on16 June 2023

Requires AI to reveal itself

European Union officials have banned on AI use in biometric surveillance and required AI systems to disclose when content is generated by AI.

European Union officials voted to implement stricter proposed regulations concerning AI. An updated draft of the "AI Act" law includes a ban on the use of AI in biometric surveillance and requires systems like OpenAI's ChatGPT to reveal when AI has generated content.

While the draft is non-binding, it strongly indicates how EU regulators think about AI. The new changes to the European Commission's proposed law -- which have not yet been finalised -- intend to shield EU citizens from potential threats linked to machine learning technology.

The new draft of the AI Act includes a provision banning companies from scraping biometric data (such as user photos) from social media for facial recognition training purposes. This sticks a spanner in the abilities of outfits like Clearview AI who use this practice to create facial recognition systems.

Reuters reports that this rule might be a source of contention with some EU countries who oppose a blanket ban on AI in biometric surveillance because they rather like the idea.

 The new EU draft also imposes disclosure and transparency measures on generative AI. Image synthesis services like Midjourney would be required to disclose AI-generated content to help people identify synthesised images.

The bill would also require that generative AI companies provide summaries of copyrighted material scraped and used in the training of each system. While the publishing industry backs this proposal, tech developers are not sure it is possible.

The law forces creators of generative AI systems would be required to implement safeguards to prevent the generation of illegal content, and companies working on "high-risk applications" must assess their potential impact on fundamental rights and the environment.

The current draft of the EU law designates AI systems that could influence voters and elections as "high-risk." It also classifies systems used by social media platforms with over 45 million users under the same category, thus encompassing platforms like Meta and Twitter.

 Experts say that after considerable debate over the new rules among EU member nations, a final version of the AI Act isn't expected until later this year.


Last modified on 16 June 2023
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