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World's first-ever regulation on Artificial Intelligence becomes a reality, thanks to S&Ds

Date

13 Mar 2024

Sections

InfoSociety

Today, the European Parliament will adopt the world's first-ever regulation on Artificial Intelligence (AI), at a plenary vote.

This is a major victory for all of us! The growing integration of Artificial Intelligence into every individual’s life has raised both interest and concern with regard to ethics and data privacy, as well as its impact on employment. Thanks to the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, the new law will guarantee that no matter how this technology evolves, people’s rights will be shielded. 

Brando Benifei, S&D MEP and European Parliament co-rapporteur on the Artificial Intelligence Act, said:

“After two years of intense work, we finally have the world's first-ever regulation on Artificial Intelligence.

“In every round of negotiations, and without making any concessions, the Socialists and Democrats have defended the principle that fundamental rights deserve strong and effective protection. We delivered what we promised!

“Thanks to the S&Ds, an AI system will not be able to predict whether a person might commit a crime, AI systems will not be able to deduce a person's ethnic, religious or political affiliation based on their biometric data and AI systems will not be able to be used to recognise emotions in the workplace or in education. On top of that, the S&D Group fought to ensure that workers and unions will have to be informed of the use of Artificial Intelligence on them and that all content generated by AI will be clearly indicated. Finally, citizens will have the right to an explanation and to use the collective redress procedure, while deployers will be obliged to assess the impact of the AI system on the fundamental rights of the people affected. Today we are making history.”

Petar Vitanov, S&D MEP and committee on civil liberties, justice and home affairs shadow rapporteur on the Artificial Intelligence Act, said:

“Technical progress should never come at the expense of people’s fundamental rights. AI systems hold great potential but also contain inherent risks, given their opacity. With the first comprehensive regulation in this area, we are answering the demand of the people – 87% of respondents to the Eurobarometer survey on digital rights and principles say that Europeans should be protected against the risky or unethical application of digital technologies, including Artificial Intelligence. 

“After facing immense pressure from the industry and lobbyists, as well as from certain member states in the Council, the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament should be proud that we managed to safeguard people’s fundamental rights.”

Note to the editors

The final text still needs to be formally adopted by the Council to become EU law. The AI act should apply from 2026.

Follow the European Parliament’s press conference on the Artificial Intelligence Act with EP co-rapporteur Brando Benifei online(opens in a new tab). The press conference takes place today at 11:00.

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