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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

European Union officials proposed new regulations Wednesday for high-risk uses of artificial intelligence, like facial scanning.

The big picture: The EU wants to set rules for uses of AI that shape decisions made about people's lives and ban uses of AI that are deemed to be too risky.

Why it matters: Europe has generally moved faster than the U.S. in imposing new regulations on the tech industry, as it did with privacy and monopoly concerns. Once again, the EU has set the terms of debate on how to govern a new technology, and the U.S. will need to react.

Details: The proposed new rules:

  • prohibit "remote biometric identification" for uses like surveilling crowds;
  • define a list of "high-risk" uses of AI; and
  • lay out fines for companies that break the rules.

What they're saying: “With these landmark rules, the EU is spearheading the development of new global norms to make sure AI can be trusted,” said Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s executive vice president for the digital age. “By setting the standards, we can pave the way for to ethical technology worldwide and ensure that the EU remains competitive along the way.”

  • Tech trade group the Information Technology Industry Council reacted cautiously. "We urge European policy-makers to focus on flexible regulation, targeted to the highest-risk applications," said Guido Lobrano, the group's vice president and director general for Europe. "AI presents global opportunities and challenges, requiring cooperation and alignment between jurisdictions."

What's next: Approving the proposal, which is subject to go through many changes before it's made final, could take years.

Go deeper

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
2 hours ago - Science

China makes history with successful Mars landing

A model of the Tianwen-1 Mars rover is displayed during an exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

A Chinese lander carrying a rover successfully touched down on Mars for the first time, state media reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another planet, and it launches the nation into an elite club of only a few space agencies to successfully make it to the Martian surface.

3 hours ago - World

UN: 10,000 Palestinians displaced in Gaza as Israel-Hamas fighting escalates

A Palestinian woman walks after she collects her belongings inside her damaged house following an Israeli air in the northern Gaza Strip. Photo: Ahmed Zakot/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The United Nations warned Friday that ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas "has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis," in not only the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, but "the region as a whole."

The big picture: More than 125 Palestinians, including 31 children have been killed in Gaza since fighting began Monday, per the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Eight people, including two children, have been killed in Israel, Reuters reported, citing Israeli authorities.