Bulletins

The EU wants to limit 'high-risk' AI in world's first major AI law

The proposal suggests banning the use of all AI systems that pose a serious risk to human health and human rights.

The EU wants to limit 'high-risk' AI in world's first major AI law

The European Commission's proposed law would ban AI systems that pose risk to human life and human rights.

Photo: Lianhao Qu/Unsplash

The European Commission released the final draft of its proposal to regulate artificial intelligence and machine learning Wednesday, making it the first major governing body to propose serious limits on the use of artificial intelligence.


The proposal suggests banning the use of all AI systems that pose a serious risk to human health and human rights, including tools that would allow "social scoring" of populations by governments or systems that might direct children to perform dangerous activities. The law also would label a large swath of systems as "high-risk" and require strict rules and obligations before they can be put into use.

Some of the systems that qualify as high-risk include all biometric identification (facial recognition, genetic markers and iris scan databases, for example), as well as systems used for employment, immigration, education and law enforcement. These high-risk systems would be required to undergo a risk assessment, provide documentation and human oversight and verify the quality of the datasets used to train them, among other requirements.

The regulation lists a few categories that qualify as low or minimal risk (which would require less oversight), including chatbots and video game and spam filters.

The proposed law will face years of debate and votes in the European Council and European Parliament before it could pass in some form.

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The CFPB said it has terminated a sandbox deal that gave earned wage access provider PayActiv “temporary safe harbor from liability” under key lending regulations.

The CFPB granted PayActiv “special regulatory treatment” in December 2020 to offer “earned wage access” products that would allow employees to obtain wages they already earned before payday.

PayActiv gets paid back through a payroll deduction from the employee’s next paycheck. The company makes money through fees.

The CFPB said it had informed PayActiv early this month that it was “considering terminating the approval order in light of certain public statements the company made wrongly suggesting a CFPB endorsement of its products.”

The company requested that the CFPB end the sandbox order after notifying the agency that it planned to modify its product fee model, the CFPB said.

The move underlined the CFPB’s increasingly critical view of sandbox deals that the agency said “proved to be ineffective.”

Safwan Shah, PayActiv’s founder and CEO, is credited with coining the term "earned wage access," which has been criticized by consumer advocates as being potentially predatory, especially when it comes to workers who don’t make much money.

Shah has argued that it benefits ordinary workers, citing a dieting principle: "The less you are paid, the more frequently you should be paid," he told Protocol in a 2021 interview. "If you're going to eat 500 calories, don't eat them in one sitting. Spread them throughout the day."

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of PayActiv's name. This story was updated June 30, 2022.

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