European Parliament asks for proposed amendments to AI Act and gets thousands
There is horse trading and there is horse trading. What is happening in European Parliament in its bid to craft coherent and future-proof AI legislation is an amazing demonstration of democracy, but also of how central biometrics and other AI tools have become to Europeans.
Most other populations that have deliberated about facial recognition, for example, have had a post-deployment focus.
It is a simpler story in the United States, where facial recognition stirs passions mostly in a few urban pockets. National legislation is a hope at best.
An article published by the Center for European Policy Analysis claims that there are “several thousand” suggested amendments to the European Union’s proposed Artificial Intelligence Act. The AI Act is an attempt to create a common framework for regulating AI.
Every political group represented in the parliament and its president have sent along bill recissions and additions by the hundreds. (President Roberta Metsola’s changes required 161 pages.)
In theory, all or most of the haggling will be complete by fall.
The best that can be done at this point is sort regulation topics by political point of view. Hardly a fine aggregate, it is more of a rumble of boulders at the foot of a waterfall.
And that is what the center has provided.
Aligning themselves with Social Democrats and Greens, Liberals are pressing hard for a permanent ban on biometric recognition. They are against any exception, including use to find a missing person or prevent a terrorist act.
Analysis by the center indicates that most in Parliament will stand for a prohibition.
Conservative parties generally approve of AI use. Many are pushing to narrow the definition of high-risk uses.
In fact, they feel that AI providers (no breakdown on developers vs. implementers) can “self-assess” if their algorithm needs to be regulated as a high-risk product.
And, as long as developers build harm countermeasures that mitigate risk, those applications should be judged as low risk.