EUROPE - New Landmark AI Rules to Curb Big Brother Fears

Arno Froese

The EU unveiled a plan to regulate the sprawling field of artificial intelligence, aimed at easing public fears of Big Brother-like abuses by imposing checks on technology deemed “high-risk.”

“With these landmark rules, the EU is spearheading the development of new global norms to make sure AI can be trusted,” EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager said.

“By setting the standards, we can pave the way to ethical technology worldwide and ensure that the EU remains competitive along the way.”

The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, has been preparing the proposal for more than a year and a debate involving the European Parliament and 27 member states is to go on for months more before a definitive text is in force.

The bloc is trying to learn the lessons after largely missing out on the internet revolution and failing to produce any major competitors to match the giants of Silicon Valley or their Chinese counterparts.

“Today’s proposals aim to strengthen Europe’s position as a global hub of excellence in AI from the lab to the market,” EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton said.

This would make “generalized surveillance” of the population off-limits as well as any tech “used to manipulate the behavior, opinions or decisions” of citizens.

Google and other tech giants are taking the EU’s AI strategy very seriously as Europe often sets a standard on how tech is regulated around the world.

Tech lobbyist Christian Borggreen, from the Computer and Communications Industry Association, welcomed the EU’s risk-based approach, but warned against stifling industry.

“We hope the proposal will be further clarified and targeted to avoid unnecessary red tape for developers and users,” he said in a statement.

Civil liberties activists warned that the rules do not go far enough in curbing potential abuses in the cutting-edge technologies., 21 April 2021

Arno's Commentary

This and multiple other reports primarily concern information and communication. What is the significance? It’s virtually brand new. Only a few decades ago, there was no public internet or public communication via mobile phones. This is all new; subsequently, new laws, regulations, limitations, and personal protections of individual citizens must be taken into consideration. Take artificial intelligence (AI), although in reality not intelligence, but a new thing unprecedented in history. Where stands the “unacceptable risk” to the EU and the world regarding fundamental rights? No one really knows. That’s where we are today. 

Volumes of information are being fed to us on a daily basis, but how much of it is true remains unknown. In the mailbox we received an advertisement about kitchen furniture, and it literally said, “40% off plus free installation.” That’s too good to be true, and obviously is not. Checking the internet, it says, “In a recent Home Furnishing Business (HFB) Report, the best performing furniture retailers enjoyed margins of close to 52%.” Another article confirms that the salesperson receives 10-15% commission. One only needs to do the math to find that it will not work. In construction, the rule of thumb for pricing is double the cost of material for complete installation.

This all relates to printed advertising. What about online advertising? Here the internet is decisive, and some of the claims are virtually out of this world. Subsequently, a standard has to be set. A way must be paved for ethical technology globally. That will lead to global merchandising, global promotion, and global law. Welcome to Mystery Babylon.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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