Is the EU stifling AI innovation?

“The European Commission has published draft proposals that will, if implemented, constitute the most expansive attempt to regulate the use of artificial intelligence. AI is becoming increasingly commonplace and automating jobs previously done by humans. From the algorithms that decide which social media posts to show you, to help desk chatbots capable of answering your questions, many AI applications make our lives easier and are set to receive fairly ‘light touch’ regulation.

Others, such as computer programmes capable of reading thousands of CVs and drawing up a shortlist of job applicants to be interviewed, have been accused of bias and will face extra scrutiny. But under the plan some more controversial technologies could be banned altogether – such as the deployment of real-time facial recognition systems in public spaces. Some in the industry welcome clear rules of the road, but others fear that restrictions will hamstring companies and force innovators to flee.

The United States is a global leader in the development of AI and the EU hopes it will adopt similar measures. But industry figures there are warning that Europe’s proposals go too far and would, if mirrored in America, result in China gaining dominance of the sector as it develops similar capabilities – but free from many of the regulations likely in the West. So, which AIs are good, which are bad, and how should they be regulated? Ritula Shah is joined by a panel of expert guests.”

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