Two European Institutions Take Steps to Tackle Challenges to Society and Journalism from Artificial Intelligence.

In a significant move to address complex issues arising from artificial intelligence (AI) and its impact on society and journalism, both the European Parliament and the Council of Europe have taken decisive steps towards regulating this transformative technology.

Today, the European Parliament’s plenary voted on the text of the AI Act, marking a crucial milestone in the legislative process.  This act, regarded as the world’s first-ever horizontal legislation on AI, seeks to provide a comprehensive framework for governing AI technologies, setting an example for the global community.  Following today’s vote, the Parliament will engage in trilogue negotiations with the Member States and Commission to finalise the European approach.

The Parliament’s position, which will be negotiated with the Commission and the Council, advocates for a risk-based approach. This approach entails assigning obligations to AI providers and users based on the level of risk. They would strictly prohibit AI systems that endanger people’s safety, including those that employ manipulative techniques or engage in social scoring.

Public policymakers believe that as the journey to regulate AI progresses, society and journalism stand to benefit from a robust and responsible framework. The AI Act, once finalised through negotiations, will serve as a guiding model for nations and other regions grappling with the intricate balance between technological advancement and safeguarding fundamental values.

In an era where AI continues to reshape our world, the European Union’s commitment to addressing these challenges head-on underscores their determination to ensure a future where AI technologies are harnessed for the greater good while upholding the principles of democracy, privacy, and the ‘freedom of expression and information’.

The Parliament announced the adoption of its position and the start of the trialogue negotiations in a press release available HERE.

In parallel the Council of Europe through its CDSMI steering group on media freedom and the information society held high level discussion in Strasbourg on how Artificial Intelligence could impact journalism. The CDSMI is working on a draft guideline for Member States in how they could regulate this fastmoving technology which have impacts not yet fully understood in the journalistic field.

The CDSMI’s approach has been to consider the role of AI product providers and internet platforms, respect for copyright, the role of regulators, and ethical considerations including editorial freedom. The draft guidelines emphasise the need for practical collaboration, protecting human rights, involving stakeholders, and upholding traditional journalistic values.

The Council of Europe’s work in this field is ongoing with a final draft guideline expected to be finalised by the early next the year after further member state and expert input.


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