Fourth Industrial Revolution

EU's new AI rules set to enter into force, and other digital tech stories to read

Published · Updated
An EU flag is seen.

The EU is set to introduce new rules on artificial intelligence. Image: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Cathy Li
Head, AI, Data and Metaverse; Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum
  • This regular round-up brings you compelling digital technology stories from the last fortnight.
  • Top digital technology news: New EU AI rules set to come into force; Warning over digitalization of finance and banking; UK communications regulator strengthens digital safety code of conduct.

1. EU's AI Act set to take effect

The European Union's (EU) rules on artificial intelligence (AI) are due to come into force in June after the bloc's countries endorsed a political deal that was reached in December. The rules could set a global benchmark for the technology.

"This landmark law, the first of its kind in the world, addresses a global technological challenge that also creates opportunities for our societies and economies," Belgian digitization minister Mathieu Michel said in a statement.

The new rules impose strict transparency requirements on high-risk AI systems, while rule for general-purpose AI models will be lighter, reports Reuters.

The use of real-time biometric surveillance in public spaces is also restricted to cases of certain crimes, preventing terrorism and searching for those suspected of the most series crimes.

Test scores of AI systems on various capabilities relative to human performance
AI capabilities have expanded rapidly in recent years. Image: Our World in Data

2. Digitalization of banking creating new risks

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has warned about the safety implications of the digitalization of the banking system. In a new report, the Committee said this was creating new vulnerabilities and amplifying existing ones, and that new rules might be needed to tackle these emerging threats.

The growth of cloud computing, the rise of AI and the sharing of data by external fintechs, among other areas, all create new risks.

"These can include greater strategic and reputational risks, a larger scope of factors that could test banks’ operational risk and resilience, and potential system-wide risks due to increased interconnections," the report said.

The Committee is comprised of central bankers and regulators from the G20 and other economies whose members are committed to applying its rules.


3. News in brief: Digital technology stories from around the world

Microsoft has partnered with a UAE-based AI firm to invest $1 billion in a data centre in Kenya.

The EU's data privacy watchdog has warned that OpenAI is still not meeting data accuracy standards.

Research has used AI to identify as many as 40 fake paintings for sale on eBay, including items purportedly by Monet and Renoir, The Guardian reports.

TikTok will begin using digital watermarks to identify AI-generated content uploaded from other sites. Content created using TikTok's own AI tools is already automatically marked.

The UK's communications regulator Ofcom has launched a new safety code of practice warning social media firms to "tame aggressive algorithms" that recommend harmful content to children.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee has voted to advance a bill that makes it easier to restrict the export of AI systems.

A global AI summit, co-hosted by South Korea and the UK, closed with pledges to develop the technology safely from both the public and private sectors.

OpenAI has announced a new Safety and Security Committee that will be led by board members as it begins training its next AI model.

Uptake of Generative AI tools has been slow, a survey of 12,000 people in six countries finds, but is strongest among 18-24-year-olds.

4. More about technology on Agenda

For businesses to close the gap between promise and reality on generative AI, they need to focus on return on investment, writes Daniel Verten, the Head of Creative at Synthesia. This includes establishing clear business objectives and ensuring GenAI solves challenges from end to end.

Climate change poses a risk to agriculture, with innovative solutions essential to protect crops without harming the environment. AI can help accelerate these solutions, explains Tom Meade, Chief Scientific Officer at Enko Chem.

What's the future of digital governance? Agustina Callegari, the Project Lead, Global Coalition for Digital Safety, World Economic Forum, explores the outcomes of the NetMundial+10 event and the creation of the São Paulo Guidelines.

1. EU's AI Act set to take effect2. Digitalization of banking creating new risks3. News in brief: Digital technology stories from around the world4. More about technology on Agenda

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum