EU proposes strict new AI regulations

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The European Commission (EC) is drafting a new set of rules that could dictate how businesses use artificial intelligence (AI) in future.

According to the report, some use cases for AI are “unacceptable”, namely when "AI systems [are] considered a clear threat to the safety, livelihoods and rights of people".

For example, AI systems that manipulate human behavior using subliminal techniques will not be permitted.

Other use cases, such as automated CV assessment and credit-scoring, could be allowed, but only after a series of checks have been performed.

Margrethe Vestager, digital chief at the EC, described the new rules as "future-proof and innovation-friendly" and explained they will only "intervene where strictly needed - when the safety and fundamental rights of EU citizens are at stake."

However, various members of the technology industry have expressed concerns about the new rules.

Hurting innovation

For Nikolas Kairinos, CEO at, an AI-powered corporate learning and development platform, the key problem is the vagueness of the proposed legislation.

"Loose definitions like 'high risk' are unhelpfully vague,” he told the BBC. "An ambiguous, tick-box approach to regulation that is overseen by individuals who may not have an in-depth understanding of AI technology will hardly inspire confidence."

Businesses that fail to comply are looking at fines of as much as 6% of their annual global turnover, which could translate to billions of dollars in some cases. But it’s not just the fines businesses are worried about; becoming compliant in the first place is also a challenge.

"There's a lot to do to sharpen some of these concepts," commented Herbert Swaniker, a technology expert at law firm Clifford Chance. "The fines are one thing - but how will vendors address the significant costs and human input needed to make compliance a reality?"

The European Commission is currently still in the early stages of drafting the rules, which will likely undergo a series of changes before being finalized.


Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.