(MENAFN) European Union negotiators reached an agreement on Friday for the world's inaugural comprehensive artificial intelligence regulations.
This development sets the stage for legal scrutiny of technology employed in widely used generative AI services, such as ChatGPT, which has pledged to revolutionize daily life while also raising concerns about existential threats to humanity.
Despite significant disparities in viewpoints, negotiators from the European Parliament and the EU's 27 member nations successfully addressed contentious issues, including generative AI and the application of facial recognition surveillance by law enforcement, ultimately signing a provisional political agreement for the Artificial Intelligence Act.
"Deal!", Thierry Breton, European Commissioner, posted on Twitter shortly before midnight, "The EU becomes the first continent to set clear rules for the use of AI."
The outcome followed extensive closed-door negotiations throughout the week, commencing with an initial session lasting 22 hours, followed by a second round that started on Friday.
Negotiators were under pressure to achieve a political triumph for the flagship legislation but were anticipated to keep the door open for further discussions to refine the details, potentially involving additional behind-the-scenes negotiations.
The European Union took an early lead in the global initiative to establish AI regulations when it unveiled the initial draft of its rulebook in 2021. However, the surge in generative AI prompted European officials to hastily revise the proposal, intending for it to serve as a model for the world.
While the European Parliament will still need to formally vote on the agreement early next year, the completion of the deal is considered a procedural formality, according to Brando Benifei, an Italian lawmaker co-leading the body's negotiation efforts, as conveyed to The Associated Press on Friday.
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