EU AI Act nearing agreement despite three key roadblocks
In this article published on euronews, its author Jeremy Fleming-Jones, writes about nearing agreement on the EU AI Act despite the three stumbling blocks, as the fifth round of negotiations have started on October 24th.
First there is the issue of various exemptions sought by the EU Council for law enforcement in the context of the Article 5 Prohibitions in the draft Act. These are all connected: the Council wants exemptions for national security; the EP is advocating for a stricter approach on facial recognition technology, where we want a hard ban on use in public places but where the Council is seeking exemptions for law enforcement; and on the use of some of the high risk applications where the Council wants more leeway for law enforcement, we in Parliament are seeking a more stringent approach. This blockage in the discussions can be taken and negotiated as a whole in one go in my opinion.
The second contentious issue relates to foundation models. The original European Commission (EC) proposal and the Council’s opening stance on the AI Act did not deal with this, but in the EP we introduced a new regime into the text in order to impose stringent obligations on apex models of AI [such as ChatGPT and Bard]. This is creating another blockage in the discussions and will be addressed in this week’s trilogue.
The third blockage relates to governance and enforcement issues where there has been quite an evolution in the text, as we in the Parliament went further than the EC envisaged and where the Council anticipated, for example in the level of fines, and this will also be discussed in this week’s trilogue.
A fourth and last issue relating to the approach in Article 6 to how we deal with high risk applications is less contentious since progress has been made so far in the trilogues and the institutions are not so far apart, the Council and Parliament both accept that there needs to be some form of qualification for the obligations imposed by Article 6, but we have given a mandate to the technical teams to consider several options and I believe that there has been progress at a technical level on this issue so possibly this could be agreed this week.
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