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EU considering a partial AI ban?

The European Union is considering a partial Artificial Intelligence ban, apparently aiming to avoid the worst of what AI can do, according to a draft of its upcoming rules obtained by Politico.

Politico reports that Europe’s legislative body will likely focus on “high risk” AI systems, that refer to things like mass surveillance and social credit scores, and could fine companies up to €20 million or 4% of revenue if they don’t comply.

EU’s regulations, that will be formally announced on April 21, will include:

  • A surveillance ban on AI systems that track people indiscriminately.
  • A ban on social credit scores that track individual behaviors, impact hiring and judiciary decisions, and rate trustworthiness.
  • Bias prevention measures like human oversight in testing datasets.
  • AI notifications that would be sent to people when interacting with AI systems.

“That means AI systems that streamline manufacturing, model climate change, or make the energy grid more efficient would be welcome. But many technologies currently in use in Europe today, such as algorithms used to scan CVs, make creditworthiness assessments, hand out social security benefits or asylum and visa applications, or help judges make decisions, would be labeled as ‘high risk,’ and would be subject to extra scrutiny” Politico reports.

U.S. companies could likely be subject to the EU’s new rules, which come as AI investment in the U.S. is accelerating. Microsoft announced this week the acquisition of health tech AI company Nuance for about USD16 billion in cash. Already in 2021, 442 U.S. venture capital deals with AI startups were worth a combined $11.65 billion.


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