Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 15 March 2024

Landmark EU Artificial Intelligence Act – Slammed as Human Rights ‘Failure

The world’s first regulations for the AI Act and the rapidly evolving AI technology were adopted by members of the European Parliament yesterday the 13th of March. The regulation,which was agreed by member states following negotiations in December 2023, was finally endorsed by MEPs with 523 votes in favour, 46 against and 49 abstentions (Source). EU policymakers have lauded the approval of the Act, but critics have warned that the legislation represents a giveaway to corporate interests, with one EU policy analyst stating that the digital policies are being used as a “testbed for oppressive surveillance representing a blatant attack on everyone’s fundamental rights” as most of us would now have expected anyway.

A “Risk Based Approach”

The regulations which are expected  to take effect in May or June after some final formalities with various provisions entering into force over the next few years “applies a “risk-based approach” to AI products and services.” the Associated Press reported on Wednesday, they wrote: “The vast majority of AI systems are expected to be low risk, such as content recommendation systems or spam filters. Companies can choose to follow voluntary requirements and codes of conduct. High-risk uses of AI, such as in medical devices or critical infrastructure like water or electrical networks, face tougher requirements like using high-quality data and providing clear information to users.”

Some AI uses are banned because they’re deemed to pose an unacceptable risk, like social scoring systems that govern how people behave, some types of predictive policing, and emotion recognition systems in school and workplaces. Other banned uses include police scanning faces in public using AI-powered remote “biometric identification” systems, except for serious crimes like kidnapping or terrorism.

While some had praised the act for it’s “positive common sense guidelines and protections”, the Artificial Intelligence Act, has garnered many other critics.

Failure From a Human Rights Perspective

“It can’t be denied that this is a historic moment both in the EU and globally: a law to govern artificial intelligence has been agreed on by the EU, It is the first of its kind in the world. It’s a long-awaited, hard-fought-over and lengthy piece of legislation.” wrote Laura Lazaro Cabrera, counsel and director of Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) Europe’s Equity and Data Program, on Wednesday,

“But for CDT Europe, it is a mixed bag when it comes to protecting human rights – one of its key aims, after all.” she argued and that the law “will become the benchmark for AI regulation globally in what has become a race against the clock as lawmakers grapple with a fast-moving development of a technology with far-reaching impacts on our basic human rights.”

The Act introduces important limitations on law enforcement’s use of AI, yet lawmakers failed to implement a total ban on the use of untargeted facial recognition by law enforcement and the CDT and other human rights advocates warned that such use would pose unacceptably high human rights risks, in particular for marginalised and at-risk communities, according to Lazaro Cabrera.

Threat to the Right to Protest

She adds “Serious risks to human rights when it comes to AI remain in the AI Act. For example, the law’s exemptions for facial recognition threaten to “swallow the rule” and allow for widespread facial scanning by law enforcement on the EU’s streets – a serious threat to, for example, the right to protest….”

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