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EU AI law faces delay with lawmakers deadlocked after crisis meeting

European Union plans to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) face another stumbling block after lawmakers failed to agree on a basic set of proposals, according to four people familiar with the matter.

After a crunching five-hour meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, MEPs had yet to agree on a set of basic principles.

At the heart of their dispute is the need to balance fundamental rights such as data privacy and democratic participation with the need to avoid stifling innovation and investment in the sector.

One of the most controversial areas of debate is determining which AI systems would be categorized as “high risk,” such as those that affect a person’s safety or violate fundamental rights. Those using such systems would be subject to strict transparency and review rules.

“The obvious tension here is between the focus on fundamental rights, on the one hand, and those who say that these necessarily conflict with innovation,” said Green MP Sergey Lagodinsky.

A European Parliament source said negotiations are ongoing with a view to agreeing on a strong text.

“The facts are long and complex, MPs are working hard to reach an agreement on their negotiating mandate. But there is no deadline or calendar for the next steps.”

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