The institutions of the European Union achieved a historic milestone by reaching a provisional agreement on the first law of artificial intelligence (IA) at global level. This agreement, which is still subject to ratification by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, is aimed at reducing the risk ofegulate the use of technology with the aim of protecting fundamental rights and strengthening the position of European industry. in a global scenario dominated by China and the United States.
Intense negotiations and sensitive points
The pact, after 36 hours of negotiations, addresses a number of sensitive points, including the use of biometric identification cameras by law enforcement in public spaces.
It is established that these cameras may be used with judicial authorisation for the following purposes preventing terrorist threats and prosecuting crimes such as human trafficking or sexual exploitation. However, the negotiations revealed tensions between governments seeking to expand the list of offences and the European Parliament, which advocated limiting it to protect fundamental rights.
Ensuring security and fundamental rights
This draft regulation aims to ensure that AI systems in the European market respect EU fundamental rights and values, encouraging investment and innovation in this sector.
It highlights the idea of regulating AI based on the risk it presents, setting stricter standards for those systems with higher risks. The proposal may become a global standard for AI regulation, similar to the impact of the GDPR in data protection.
Prohibitions and regulation of Generative AI
The law prohibits biometric categorisation systems political, religious, philosophical, racial or sexual orientation. Likewise, vetoes systems that evaluate people according to their behaviour or personal characteristics, as well as those capable of manipulating human behaviour.
It highlights the inclusion of regulations for foundational AI models, such as ChatGPT, demanding transparency and respect for copyright in the generation of content.
Establishment of the European Office for Artificial Intelligence
The law provides for the creation of the European Office for Artificial IntelligenceThe office is tasked with coordinating the use of the technology among national authorities and advised by a panel of scientists and civil society organisations. Although entry into force is planned for 2026, it will be implemented in phases, with the immediate establishment of the office, followed by a ban on specific systems six months later and stricter requirements for AI generative systems after 12 months.
Sanctions and statement by the Spanish Presidency
The Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU has led the negotiations, highlighting the autonomy and the effort to reach a political agreement that includes prohibited uses of technology and conditions for the use of technologies that pose systemic risks. Although an agreement was reachedThe European Parliament has also called on the Member States and Parliament's plenary to ensure that the new rules are not only effective, but that they are also compatible with the EU's internal market, and that they can be applied by the Member States and the European Parliament.
The law states fines that go from EUR 7.5 million or 1.5% of the overall turnover of companies up to 35 millions or 7%. The Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU welcomes the agreement as a milestone that allows citizens to decide on the use of artificial intelligence and stresses the importance of regulation in a field of great potential and still full of uncertainties.
At a crucial moment for the development and regulation of artificial intelligence, the European Union has set a global precedent by agreeing on the first law to guide the use of this technology. This historic milestone reflects the EU's commitment to protecting fundamental rights and balancing innovation and security.
Now, more than ever, it is essential that citizens are involved and understand the impact of this legislation on their lives. What aspect of the new law are you most curious about? What is your opinion on this new regulation?