The institutions of the European Union They agreed this Friday the law of artificial intelligence that allows or prohibits the use of technology depending on the risk it entails for people and that seeks to boost European industry against giants such as China and the United States.

“The EU artificial intelligence law is a pioneer in the world. A single legal framework for the development of artificial intelligence that can be trusted,” said the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyenin a message on the social network X (formerly Twitter).

The agreement came after 36 hours of negotiations and It will still have to be ratified by the European Parliament and the Council of the EUthe institution that represents European governments.

Real-time surveillance

One of the most sensitive points of the negotiations has been the use that law enforcement may make of biometric identification cameras in public spaces to guarantee national security.

The cameras may be used with prior judicial authorization to prevent a terrorist threat “genuine and foreseeable” or “genuine and present”, meaning that it is occurring at that moment.

They can also be used for locate or identify a person who has committed crimes of terrorism, human traffickingsexual exploitation or, for example, an environmental crime and to search for the victims of these crimes.

During the negotiations, governments have pushed to expand the list of crimes, while the European Parliament has tried to limit it as much as possible and obtain strong safeguards for fundamental rights.

Prohibited systems

The norm, furthermore, prohibits all biometric categorization systems based on political, religious, philosophical beliefs or because of their race and sexual orientation.

Nor can you use the systems that rate people based on their behavior or personal characteristics nor artificial intelligence capable of manipulating human behavior.

Systems for expand or create facial databases by capturing data indiscriminately through the internet or audiovisual recordings

In addition, artificial intelligence systems that They can recognize emotions.

Generative AI

The other big issue that has focused the negotiations is the regulation of the generative artificial intelligence systems, on which they are based models like ChatGPTfrom the company OpenAI or Bard, from Google.

They will have to comply transparency criteria, such as specifying whether a text, a song or a photograph has been generated through artificial intelligence and guaranteeing that the data used to train the systems respects copyright.

Initially, the law was not designed to regulate this type of systems, because had not yet become popular when Brussels proposed the law in April 2021but community institutions have seen the need to legislate them since the outbreak of ChatGPT last year.

The regulation does not prohibit its use but has established a series of criteria to detect the models that can generate a high risk depending on the context in which they are used and forces its developers to comply with stricter safeguards before releasing them to the market.

The negotiations were “passionate”, since the objective of the law is to regulate the use of a technology with great possibilities for society, which at the same time raises doubts and some questions that the developers of artificial intelligence still do not know how to answer, according to sources familiar with the debates.

The regulation allows or prohibits the use of artificial intelligence depending on the risk it generates for people and identifies high-risk systems that can only be used if they are shown to respect fundamental rights.

For example, those that can be used to influence the result of an election, those used by financial institutions to evaluate solvency and establish credit rating.

The Spanish presidency of the EU Council has achieved one of its main objectives this semester with the agreement of this pioneering standard in the world.

“We have achieved an important milestone, “that we citizens can decide what can and cannot be done with artificial intelligence,” said the Spanish Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, Carme Artigas.

The regulation provides for the creation of the European Artificial Intelligence Office, which will coordinate the use of technology between national authorities and which will be advised by a panel of scientists and civil society organizations.

It is planned that The law comes into force in 2026 but will be applied in phases: The European office will be created immediately, the ban on banned artificial intelligence systems will reach six months, and the requirements for generative AI systems and models will reach 12 months.

The regulation provides fines ranging from 35 million euros or 7% of the global business volume of the companies, up to 7.5 million euros or 1.5% of the global business volume