Insights European Parliament Committees adopt amended Commission proposal for Artificial Intelligence Act


The European Parliament’s Internal Market Committee and the Civil Liberties Committee have adopted a draft negotiating mandate on the first rules for AI. In their amendments to the Commission’s proposal, MEPs aimed to ensure that AI systems are overseen by people, are safe, transparent, traceable, non-discriminatory, and environmentally friendly. They also recommended a uniform definition for AI designed to be technology-neutral so that it can apply to the AI systems of today and tomorrow.

The EU Parliament says that the proposed rules follow a risk-based approach and establish obligations for providers and users depending on the level of risk the AI in question can generate. AI systems with an unacceptable level of risk to people’s safety would be strictly prohibited, including systems that deploy subliminal or purposefully manipulative techniques, exploit people’s vulnerabilities or are used for social scoring (classifying people based on their social behaviour, socio-economic status and personal characteristics).

MEPs amended the list to include bans on intrusive and discriminatory uses of AI systems such as:

  • “real-time” remote biometric identification systems in publicly accessible spaces;
  • “post” remote biometric identification systems, except in relation to the prosecution of serious crimes and only after judicial authorisation;
  • biometric categorisation systems using sensitive characteristics (e.g. gender, race, ethnicity, citizenship status, religion, political orientation);
  • predictive policing systems (based on profiling, location or past criminal behaviour);
  • emotion recognition systems in law enforcement, border management, workplace, and educational institutions; and
  • indiscriminate scraping of biometric data from social media or CCTV footage to create facial recognition databases (violating human rights and the right to privacy).

MEPs also expanded the classification of high-risk areas to include harm to people’s health, safety, fundamental rights or the environment. They also added AI systems to influence voters in political campaigns and in recommender systems used by social media platforms to the high-risk list.

MEPs included obligations for providers of foundation models, the new and fast evolving development in the field of AI, who would have to guarantee the robust protection of fundamental rights, health and safety, the environment, democracy and rule of law. They would need to assess and mitigate risks, comply with design, information and environmental requirements and register in the EU database.

Generative foundation models, such as GPT, would have to comply with additional transparency requirements, such as disclosing that the content was generated by AI, designing the model to prevent it from generating illegal content and publishing summaries of copyright data used for training.

To boost AI innovation, MEPs added exemptions for research activities and AI components provided under open-source licences. The new rules promote regulatory sandboxes, or controlled environments, established by public authorities to test AI before its deployment.

MEPs also boosted citizens’ right to file complaints on AI systems and receive explanations of decisions based on high-risk AI systems that significantly impact their rights. MEPs also reformed the role of the EU AI Office, which would be tasked with monitoring how the AI rulebook is implemented. To read the EU Parliament’s press release in full and for a link to the amended proposals, click here.