Weakening AI speech harms everyone

When the European Federal Commission issued Regulatory proposal About artificial intelligence last month, a lot of the American political community celebrated. Their praise was at least partly ingrained in truth: The world’s most powerful democracies had not adequately regulated AI and other emerging technologies, and the document was a step forward. Mostly, though Suggestion The responses to it underscore the democracies ’confusing rhetoric on AI.

Over the past decade, stated high-profile goals about AI regulation have often clashed with the specifics of organizational proposals, and what the final cases should look like is unclear either way. Consistent and purposeful progress in the development of an internationally attractive, democratic AI regulation, even as this varies from country to country, begins with the resolution of numerous contradictions and inaccurate characterizations of discourse.

The European Union Commission has considered its proposal a milestone in regulating artificial intelligence. Executive Vice President Margaret Westager He said Upon its launch, “We think this is urgent. We are the first to suggest this legal framework on this planet.” Thierry Britton, another Commissioner, He said The proposals aim to “strengthen Europe’s position as a global center of excellence in artificial intelligence from the laboratory to the market, to ensure that artificial intelligence in Europe respects our values ​​and rules, and to harness the potential of artificial intelligence for industrial use.”

This is definitely better than many national governments, especially the United States, which are experiencing stagnant road rules for corporations, government agencies, and other institutions. AI is already in widespread use in the European Union despite minimal oversight and accountability, be it for Observation in Athens or Bus operation In Malaga, Spain.

But portraying the EU’s regulation as a “pioneer” just because it is first It just hides numerous suggestion issues. This kind of rhetorical leap is one of the first challenges facing democratic AI strategy.

From many “Details” In the 108-page proposal, his approach to regulating facial recognition is of particular importance. The use of artificial intelligence systems to identify “real-time” remote identification of natural persons in places available to the public for the purpose of law enforcement, ”as stated in the text,“ is considered a special interference with the rights and freedoms of the persons concerned, ”which may affect the private life, “Evokes a feeling of constant surveillance,” and “indirectly discourages the exercise of freedom of assembly and other fundamental rights.” At first glance, these words might indicate alignment with Interests From many Activists And the Technique Ethologists On the harm that facial recognition can inflict on marginalized communities and the grave risks of mass surveillance.

The committee then states, “Therefore, the use of these systems for law enforcement purposes should be prohibited.” However, it would allow exceptions in “three comprehensively and narrowly listed cases.” This is where the vulnerabilities come into play.

Exceptions include cases that “involve the search for potential victims of crime, including missing children; certain threats to the life or physical integrity of natural persons or to a terrorist attack; and the discovery, locating, identification, or prosecution of perpetrators or suspects of criminal offenses.” This language, despite all the scenarios being described as “precisely defined”, provides countless justifications for law enforcement to deploy facial recognition as they please. Allowing it to be used to “identify” “perpetrators or suspects” in criminal offenses, for example, would specifically allow for the kind of discriminatory uses of facial recognition algorithms that are often racist and sexist that activists have long warned about.

European Union Privacy Monitor, European Data Protection Supervisor, It quickly swooped in on this. “A more rigorous approach is necessary because remote biometrics recognition, where artificial intelligence may contribute to unprecedented developments, represents an extremely high risk of deep and undemocratic interference in the private lives of individuals,” the EDPS statement reads. Sarah Chander of the nonprofit European Digital Rights Organization Described The proposal to the edge as a “fundamental rights protection shell”. Others note how these exceptions reflect legislation in the United States that appears to restrict the use of facial recognition on the surface, but that in fact has many extensive carvings.

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