Why the AI Act was so hard to pass

Biometric AI tech like facial recognition software was one of the major sticking points contributing to negotiation delays. | Image: The Verge

When European lawmakers reached a provisional deal on landmark artificial intelligence rules last week, they had reason to celebrate.

The EU AI Act reached a long-awaited climax on Friday following not only two years of broad discussion but a three-day “marathon” debate between the European Commission, the European Parliament, and EU member states to iron out disagreements. All-nighters were pulled. Bins overflowed with the remnants of coffee, energy drinks, and sugary snacks. It was the kind of environment you’d expect from students cramming for finals, not lawmakers working on legislation that could set a blueprint for global AI regulation. The chaos was largely thanks to two contentious issues that threatened to derail the entire…

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