EU Reaches Historic Deal on Artificial Intelligence Regulation

EU Reaches Historic Deal on Artificial Intelligence Regulation

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “ EU Reaches Historic Deal on Artificial Intelligence Regulation”. This topic has relevance in the Science and Technology section of the UPSC CSE exam.

GS 3: Science and Technology

Why in the news?

Policymakers in the European Union have reached a preliminary agreement on groundbreaking regulations that will govern the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI).


On December 8, EU member states and lawmakers reached a landmark agreement on the formulation of rules governing artificial intelligence (AI), including models like ChatGPT. Despite the prolonged negotiations, these regulations are slated to come into effect no earlier than 2025, allowing for considerable technological advancements in the interim.

Key Highlights of the Artificial Intelligence Act:

  • Origins and Objectives: Initially drafted in 2021, the Artificial Intelligence Act aims to introduce transparency, trust, and accountability to the realm of AI. It seeks to establish a comprehensive framework to address risks posed to safety, health, fundamental rights, and democratic values within the EU.
  • Two-Tier Approach: The Act adopts a two-tier approach, featuring transparency requirements applicable to all general-purpose AI models, with more stringent provisions for high-powered models.
  • Database of High-Risk AI Systems: The legislation proposes the creation of an EU-wide database cataloging high-risk AI systems. It also outlines parameters for the inclusion of future technologies in this database, provided they meet the defined high-risk criteria.
  • Balancing Act: Striking a balance between promoting the adoption of AI and preventing potential harms associated with certain applications, the legislation reflects a nuanced approach.

Establishment of the EU AI Office:

  • Monitoring and Sanctions: The Act empowers the EU to monitor and penalize violators through a newly established body, the EU AI Office, affiliated with the commission.
  • Enforcement Measures: The EU AI Office holds the authority to impose fines amounting to seven percent of a company’s turnover or 35 million euros—whichever is greater.

Approval Process:

While a deal has been reached, formal approval from member states and the EU Parliament is still required to enforce the AI regulations.

Global Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence Regulation: 

  • European Union’s Progressive Approach:
    • In May 2023, the European Parliament made strides toward a comprehensive regulatory framework with a preliminary agreement on the Artificial Intelligence Act. This ambitious legislation seeks to establish an EU-wide database for high-risk AI systems, with provisions allowing for the inclusion of future technologies meeting defined criteria.
  • United States: A Hands-Off Stance:
    • The U.S., in contrast, currently lacks a comprehensive regulatory framework for AI and has adopted a relatively hands-off approach to governance in this rapidly evolving technological landscape.
  • China’s Stringent Regulations:
    • China, in a departure from the U.S., has implemented some of the world’s first nationally binding regulations for AI. Over the past year, it introduced laws specifically targeting certain types of algorithms, notably focusing on the regulation of recommendation algorithms and their impact on information dissemination.
  • India’s Evolving Position:
    • Initially adopting a stance of not considering specific laws for AI regulation, India has signaled a potential shift in perspective. Leading up to the G20 summit in September 2023, government officials hinted at the prospect of regulating AI. The upcoming Digital Personal Data Protection Bill 2022 is expected to extend its reach to AI developers, treating them as data fiduciaries responsible for the use of personal data.
  • India’s Role on the Global Stage:
    • Prime Minister Modi expressed India’s commitment to a significant advancement in AI, emphasizing its potential to empower citizens. India, as a co-founder of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI), will host the GPAI Summit 2023 in New Delhi from December 12-14. With 28 member countries and the EU, GPAI aims to guide the responsible development and usage of AI on the international stage. India’s active involvement signals its dedication to contributing to the evolution of AI governance and technology.

SOURCE:EU agrees landmark deal on regulation of AI (

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Q.1 With reference to the Artificial Intelligence Act of EU, consider the following statements:

  1. The legislative proposal suggests establishing a pan-European database that compiles information on high-risk AI systems.
  2. The Act features a two-tier approach, applying transparency requirements to all general-purpose AI models, with more stringent provisions for high-powered models.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2


Q.2 Discuss the ethical dimensions and implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in contemporary society. Analyze the challenges posed by AI in areas such as privacy, bias, accountability, and job displacement. Examine the strategies and frameworks that can be implemented to address these ethical concerns and ensure responsible development and deployment of AI technologies. 

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