EU Artificial Intelligence Act: shaping migration, policing, and its emerging standard


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Recognising both the potential and the risks associated with artificial intelligence (AI), the European Union has taken a significant step by introducing the EU Artificial Intelligence Act. This groundbreaking legislative proposal aims to regulate AI, protect fundamental rights, and position the EU as a global leader. The impact of the AI Act as an emerging standard, reinforce Member States’ positions, the EU Commission’s stance, and how AI is shaping migration, policing, and the management of illegal migrants within the EU.

Introduced by the European Commission in April 2021, the Act represents a comprehensive effort to govern AI technologies throughout the EU. This legislation classifies AI systems into four risk categories: unacceptable risk, high risk, limited risk, and minimal risk, with each category subject to varying degrees of regulation and oversight.

The European Commission, as the driving force behind the AI Act, is committed to establishing a uniform and future-proof regulatory framework for AI, protects fundamental rights, drives innovation and address the challenges posed by AI in migration and policing, with particular relevance to migration and policing efforts. AI is transforming the way EU member states manage migration, tackle illegal immigration, and conduct internal policing. AI-powered surveillance systems can enhance border security by detecting unauthorized border crossings and suspicious activities. These systems use advanced algorithms to analyze data from cameras, drones, and sensors, aiding border guards in real-time decision-making. Furthermore, AI can assist in processing asylum applications more efficiently, thereby reducing administrative burdens and streamlining the asylum process. AI algorithms can process large volumes of data, including social media and communication records, to track and apprehend individuals involved in criminal activities, such as human trafficking or smuggling.

Member States such as Germany are an advocate for robust AI regulation, viewing the AI Act as vital to prevent market fragmentation and ensure the ethical deployment of AI. Germany recognizes AI’s potential in shaping migration management and internal policing, particularly in border control and law enforcement. On the contrary, France supports the AI Act’s focus on high-risk AI applications, aiming to balance innovation and regulation. The French government emphasizes AI’s role in border security and law enforcement to enhance national security and counter illegal migration.

The EU Artificial Intelligence Act represents a significant milestone in regulating AI technologies within the EU. Member states’ positions on this legislation vary, reflecting their unique interests and concerns. The European Commission is determined to establish the AI Act as an emerging standard, positioning the EU as a global leader in responsible AI use, including its applications in migration management, border control, and law enforcement. As AI continues to shape these critical areas, it is imperative to maintain a focus on ethical considerations and human rights while harnessing the benefits of this transformative technology. 

Written by: Nenad Stekić

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