The EU is set to propose new rules to “high-risk sectors” and is an attempt to catch up to the U.S. and China on advancements in AI. But there are those who think the EU is too strict, privacy being one area that could hinder their advancement. Critics have argued that stringent data protection laws like the EU’s could hinder innovation around AI, EU officials say harmonizing rules across the region will boost development.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has pledged her team would present a new legislative approach on artificial intelligence within the first 100 days of her mandate, which started Dec. 1. The Commission added: “To maximize the benefits and address the challenges of Artificial Intelligence, Europe has to act as one and will define its own way, a human way. Trust and security of EU citizens will, therefore, be at the center of the EU’s strategy.”
The EU is also considering new obligations for public authorities around the deployment of facial recognition technology and more detailed rules on the use of such systems in public spaces. The provision suggests prohibiting the use of facial recognition by public and private actors in public spaces for several years to allow time to assess the risks of such technology.
The EU defines high-risk applications as “applications of artificial intelligence which can produce legal effects for the individual or the legal entity or pose risk of injury, death or significant material damage for the individual or the legal entity.”