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BRUSSELS: The EU unveiled a plan Wednesday to regulate the sprawling field of artificial intelligence, aimed at helping Europe catch up in the new tech revolution while curbing the threat of Big Brother-like abuses.

“With these landmark rules, the EU is spearheading the development of new global norms to make sure AI can be trusted,” EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager said. “By setting the standards, we can pave the way to ethical technology worldwide and ensure that the EU remains competitive along the way.”

The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, has been preparing the proposal for more than a year and a debate involving the European Parliament and 27 member states is to go on for months more before a definitive text is in force.

The EU is looking to set the terms with its first ever legal package on AI and catch up with the US and China in a sector that spans from voice recognition to insurance and law enforcement.

The bloc is trying to learn the lessons after largely missing out on the internet revolution and failing to produce any major competitors to match the giants of Silicon Valley or their Chinese counterparts.

But there have been competing concerns over the plans from both big tech and civil liberties groups arguing that the EU is either overreaching or not going far enough.