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EU Proposes Groundbreaking AI Regulation


The European Union (EU) is poised to enact the world’s inaugural comprehensive legislation for the regulation of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The proposed framework is anticipated to face a parliamentary vote in early 2024, with potential enforcement as early as 2025.


GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Components of the EU Framework for AI Regulation
  2. Global Approaches to AI Regulation

Components of the EU Framework for AI Regulation:

Legislative Safeguards:
  • Consumer Empowerment: Individuals enabled to file complaints for perceived AI violations.
  • Limits on Law Enforcement Adoption: Clearly defined boundaries on AI usage by law enforcement.
  • Stringent AI Restrictions: Strong limitations on facial recognition and AI behavior manipulation.
  • Penalties for Violations: Provision for severe penalties for companies breaching AI rules.
  • Restricted Biometric Surveillance: Government-permitted real-time biometric surveillance in public areas only for serious threats like terrorism.
AI Application Categorization:
  • Four Risk Classes: AI applications categorized into four risk levels based on risk and invasiveness.
  • Prohibited Applications: Mass-scale facial recognition and behavioral control AI mostly banned, with law enforcement exemptions.
  • High-Risk Applications: Allowed with certification and transparency, e.g., AI tools for self-driving cars.
  • Medium-Risk Applications: Deployable without restrictions, like generative AI chatbots, with user disclosure, transparency obligations, and detailed documentation.
Other EU Regulatory Milestones:
  • GDPR Implementation: Enforced since May 2018, focusing on privacy and explicit consent for data processing.
  • Sub-Legislations: DSA and DMA:
    • Digital Services Act (DSA): Regulates hate speech, counterfeit goods, etc.
    • Digital Markets Act (DMA): Identifies “dominant gatekeeper” platforms, addressing non-competitive practices and dominance abuse.

Global Approaches to AI Regulation:

European Union (EU):
  • Stringent Categorization: Classifies AI based on invasiveness and risk levels.
United Kingdom (UK):
  • ‘Light-Touch’ Approach: Fosters innovation in AI with a less restrictive regulatory stance.
United States:
  • Balanced Position: Positioned between supporting innovation and implementing some regulatory measures.
  • Sovereign Measures: Introduces its own AI regulations aligning with national policies and priorities.

India’s Strategy on AI Regulation:

Stance Evolution:
  • From Non-Consideration to Formulation: India shifts from not considering AI regulation to actively formulating regulations based on risk and user-harm approach.
Advocacy for Responsible AI:
  • Inclusive National AI Strategy: #AIFORALL (2018) focused on inclusivity in AI adoption.
  • Principles of Responsible AI (2021): NITI Aayog introduces principles emphasizing equality, safety, inclusivity, transparency, accountability, privacy, and positive human value.
  • Comprehensive National Initiative: IndiaAI (March 2023) introduced as a comprehensive program covering all AI-related research and innovations.
  • Statutory Authority Recommendation: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (July 2023) proposes a domestic statutory authority for AI regulation with a risk-based framework and an advisory body with diverse expertise.
Sector-Specific AI Frameworks in India:
Healthcare Sector:
  • Ethical Guidelines: Indian Council of Medical Research issues guidelines for AI in biomedical research and healthcare (June 2023).
 Capital Market:
  • SEBI Circular (January 2019): Guides policies and establishes an inventory for AI systems in the capital market.
Education Sector:
  • NEP 2020 Recommendation: National Education Policy recommends integrating AI awareness into school courses.

-Source: Indian Express

March 2024