definitively on the way


EU lawmakers bag late night deal on ‘global first’ AI rules
Natasha Lomas
@riptari / 8:58 AM GMT+6:30•December 9, 2023

eu ai act trilogue press conference
Image Credits: European Commission(opens in a new window)
After marathon ‘final’ talks which stretched to almost three days European Union lawmakers have tonight clinched a political deal on a risk-based framework for regulating artificial intelligence. The file was originally proposed back in April 2021 but it’s taken months of tricky three-way negotiations to get a deal over the line. The development means a pan-EU AI law is definitively on the way.

Giving a triumphant but exhausted press conference in the small hours of Friday night/Saturday morning local time key representatives for the European Parliament, Council and the Commission — the bloc’s co-legislators — hailed the agreement as hard fought, a milestone achievement and historic, respectively.

Taking to X to tweet the news, the EU’s president, Ursula von der Leyen — who made delivering a regulation to promote “trustworthy” AI a key priority of her term when she took up the post in late 2019 — also lauded the political agreement as a “global first”.

Full details of what’s been agreed won’t be entirely confirmed until a final text is compiled and made public, which may take some weeks. But a press release put out by the European Parliament confirms the deal reached with the Council includes a total prohibition on the use of AI for:

biometric categorisation systems that use sensitive characteristics (e.g. political, religious, philosophical beliefs, sexual orientation, race);
untargeted scraping of facial images from the internet or CCTV footage to create facial recognition databases;
emotion recognition in the workplace and educational institutions;
social scoring based on social behaviour or personal characteristics;
AI systems that manipulate human behaviour to circumvent their free will;
AI used to exploit the vulnerabilities of people (due to their age, disability, social or economic situation).