EU Lawmakers Pass Landmark AI Regulation Bill – DNyuz

EU Lawmakers Pass Landmark AI Regulation Bill

Welcome back to World Brief, where the European Union passes a landmark AI regulation bill, Israel faces judicial vote chaos, and Russia moves nuclear weapons to Belarus.

Welcome back to World Brief, where the European Union passes a landmark AI regulation bill, Israel faces judicial vote chaos, and Russia moves nuclear weapons to Belarus.

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European Parliament lawmakers on Wednesday passed the landmark Artificial Intelligence Act, putting the bloc a critical step closer to formally adopting the world’s first major set of comprehensive rules regulating AI technology.

Under the AI Act, all artificial intelligence would be classified under four levels of risk, from minimal to unacceptable. The AI Act would ban technology that poses an unacceptable risk, such as social scoring systems and predictive policing. AI focused on vulnerable groups, children and other populations and their hiring practices will also be scrutinized more closely. The new regulations would also require greater privacy standards, stricter transparency laws, and steeper fines for failing to cooperate. The onus of enforcement would fall on European Union member states, with corporate violators facing fines of up to $33 million or 6 percent of the company’s annual global revenue, which could add up to billions of dollars for tech giants such as Google or Microsoft.

The AI Act was first proposed in 2021, but negotiations accelerated following last year’s release of ChatGPT. Final approval of the bill is expected by the end of this year. Yet despite the EU’s monumental push to regulate artificial intelligence, the 27-nation bloc remains a background character in global AI leadership. The United States is vying with China for leadership. In October 2022, the Biden administration released its “Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights,” which focuses on privacy standards and testing before AI systems become publicly available. Then in April, China followed suit, publishing a set of draft rules that would require chatbot-makers to adhere to state censorship laws. Trailing behind is Britain, which announced last week that London would host the world’s first summit on AI sometime this fall.

“Setting universal regulatory frameworks for technology has always been tricky, but it has gotten more challenging as that technology advances,” FP’s Rishi Iyengar reported, noting that AI has proved uniquely difficult to regulate due to how quickly the tech is progressing. As for the AI Act, this may be the EU’s one and only chance to secure significant AI guardrails. “We are not going to have another negotiation,” Gerard de Graaf, the EU’s senior digital envoy to the United States, told Iyengar. So the AI Act “has to stand the test of time.”

While many other publications have focused on aspects of AI–such as jobs, teaching, and productivity–the issue of geopolitical competition over AI is relatively unexplored. Foreign Policy‘s Summer 2023 print issue, available online next week, seeks to fill that gap. To read all of the stories from this issue, become an FP subscriber. Do you prefer to read the magazine in print format? Select an “annual” plan to receive quarterly copies of the magazine, including the upcoming AI issue.

Knesset chaos. Wednesday was a tumultuous day to be an Israeli lawmaker. Knesset members held a secret ballot to determine who would serve on the country’s Judicial Selection Committee, which is responsible for appointing judges across Israel’s civil court system. The two seats were traditionally held by members of the Likud coalition, which is currently led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, only opposition parliamentarian Karine Elharrar of the center-left Yesh Atid party won a seat, sparking uproar over which Likud coalition members broke ranks.

Netanyahu had originally planned to appease the opposition by supporting its candidate, but Likud coalition hard-liners argued that voting for Elharrar would undermine the bloc’s judicial overhaul goals. Publicly, Netanyahu said he’d vote down both candidates to give the Knesset another 30 days to whip up new options–essentially buying time. The fact that Elharrar won and Likud nominee Tally Gotliv lost shows that dissent runs through Netanyahu’s coalition at a time when his rule is precarious at best. “Even by Israeli political standards, this was a crazy day,” Israel expert Neri Zilber told Foreign Policy.

Despite Yesh Atid’s win, the opposition, led by Yair Lapid, announced on Wednesday that it would suspend negotiations with Netanyahu on judicial reform because the committee requires two representatives to function, not just Elharrar. The new vote may take place as soon as next week. In the meantime, Netanyahu must continue trying to appease both far-right allies in his own coalition and a growing oppositional base as police brace for protests to erupt across the country.

Spreading the (nuclear) wealth. In an interview with Russian state TV released late on Tuesday, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said Russia had delivered tactical nuclear warheads to Minsk. This marks the first time Moscow has deployed such weapons outside its territory since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. According to Lukashenko, the bombs are three times more powerful than the atomic weapons that the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Russian President Vladimir Putin had previously said the Kremlin would deploy nuclear weapons in Belarus once special storage facilities were created and would maintain control over their use.

Meanwhile, Germany published its first national security strategy on Wednesday, and at the top of its threat list sits Russia. Olaf Scholz, German Chancellor said that the strategy document is “not an end but a beginning”. The 74-page strategy outlined Berlin’s foreign-policy priorities following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying Russia wins the superlative for biggest security threat to the continent.

Gun violence hits Japan. Tragedy struck Japan on Wednesday when a man shot and killed two Japanese soldiers at a military training center. The shooter’s motive is still unknown, but reports indicate he was a new recruit. Japan has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world and boasts a gun death rate of only 0. 02 per 100,000 people as of 2019.

However, recent gun violence deaths have rocked the island nation, specifically the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last July while he was delivering a campaign speech for another party candidate. “Japan is one of the safest places on Earth,” wrote journalist William Sposato in Foreign Policy following Abe’s killing.

One Ecuadorian woman isn’t quite ready to bid farewell. Despite being declared dead at a local hospital, a 76-year-old woman was discovered alive during her own wake–after knocking on her coffin. After failing to respond after resuscitation attempts, the on-duty doctor declared the woman dead. The woman has been admitted to the hospital again (yes, it’s the same one), and is in intensive care. A state-wide investigation is underway.

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