Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper) In a significant milestone for the European Union (EU), the European Parliament has championed the AI Act, which is hailed as a pioneering legislative framework worldwide. With the potential to revolutionize societies and economies, the AI Act has garnered immense support and is considered the most crucial legislation of this mandate. Members of Parliament (MEPs) have showcased a unified stance on the Act, aiming to ensure that artificial intelligence remains human-centric, trustworthy, and safe.

Dragoș Tudorache MEP

Dragoș Tudorache, the rapporteur in the LIBE committee for the AI Act, acknowledged the transformative impact of AI and expressed confidence in the EU’s ability to lead globally in shaping its development. He stated, “The AI Act is very likely the most important piece of legislation in this mandate. And it’s the first legislation of this kind worldwide, which means that the EU can lead the way, globally, in making AI human-centric, trustworthy, and safe.”

Tudorache further highlighted the significant improvements made by Parliament to the Commission’s original text. Notably, recent advancements such as foundation models and generative AI have been taken into account. Balancing the imperative to support AI innovation in Europe, particularly for start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and industry growth, the Parliament’s position ensures the protection of fundamental rights and strengthens democratic oversight over the use of high-risk AI systems. It also aims to establish a robust system of AI governance and enforcement across the Union.

Svenja Hahn MEP

Svenja Hahn, the shadow rapporteur in the IMCO committee, emphasized the liberal victories reflected in the Parliament’s position on the AI Act. Hahn described the Act as embodying a clear liberal approach, defying conservative surveillance desires and over-regulation fantasies of the left wing. The compromise achieved strikes a balance, offering proportional regulation for AI, safeguarding civil rights, and fostering innovation and economic growth.

Hahn highlighted the Parliament’s commitment to civil rights by advocating for a ban on biometric surveillance in public spaces, sending a powerful message to member states.

Additionally, she emphasized the importance of bolstering experimentation on AI within regulatory sandboxes, aiming to establish the EU as a vibrant hub for research and innovation in artificial intelligence.

With the European Parliament’s resolute support for the AI Act, the EU is poised to shape the future of AI by upholding ethical principles, ensuring transparency, and promoting responsible and accountable use.

The Act’s human-centric approach, coupled with its emphasis on protecting civil rights and stimulating innovation, holds great promise for establishing a thriving and ethical AI landscape within the European Union and setting a precedent for global AI governance.

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