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Europe Passes Legislation To Regulate A.I.

The European Union’s Parliament has passed the first legislation in the world that aims to regulate the use of artificial intelligence (A.I.).

Representatives in the European Parliament voted 523 in favour and 46 against legislation that includes regulations to govern A.I. across the continent.

The “EU AI Act” divides the emerging technology into levels of risk, ranging from unacceptable, which would see the technology banned, to high, medium, and low.

Some European countries had pushed for self-regulation over continent-wide controls, arguing that blanket legislation could hurt the technology sector.

Countries that were against the A.I. legislation include both Germany and France, which are home to many of Europe’s largest A.I. start-up companies.

However, concerns have been growing over the potential abuse of A.I. even as tech heavyweights such as Microsoft (MSFT) and Nvidia (NVDA) promote A.I.’s benefits.

Government concerns include the spread of disinformation and A.I. that generate false events, including photos and videos, and are known as deepfakes.

In a statement following the legislation’s passage, representatives for the European Union’s Parliament said: “The AI Act is not the end of the journey, but, rather, the starting point for a new model of governance built around technology.”

Other governments around the world, including in the U.S., have been considering ways to build safeguards around the use of A.I., though no other country has yet to pass legislation.