*** ----> Bahrain lawmakers urge caution in digital playground | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrain lawmakers urge caution in digital playground

TDT | Manama                                                      

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Practice extreme caution when venturing into the realm of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools. The consequences of misuse could entail hefty fines and even jail time in Bahrain.

This is according to a call by Shura Council members to establish comprehensive guidelines to govern Artificial Intelligence (AI) utilisation.

Fines and jail terms

If approved, offenders could face fines ranging from BD2,000 to BD20,000, along with potential jail time.

These measures target individuals who manipulate images, speeches, or official statements without consent using AI technology.

The proposal was tabled by members Ali Hussain Al Shehabi, Jamal Fakhro, Dr. Jihad Al Fadhel, Dr. Mohammed Ali Hassan, and Dalal Al Zayed.

They say it’s to ensure AI technologies are used responsibly and legally, encompassing programming, processing, and development activities within Bahrain's jurisdiction.

The members underscore that it is imperative to implement stringent controls over AI programmes, processes, applications, and usage.

Rights and freedom

These measures encompass safeguarding constitutional rights and freedoms, honouring the principles of the Islamic faith, fostering national unity, preventing incitement or sectarianism, upholding public order and morality, averting harm to public health or the environment, implementing cybersecurity measures, ensuring accuracy, security, and upgradability, and promoting peaceful application.

Moreover, adherence to national legislation, international agreements, and treaties concerning AI technologies is mandated, excluding classified materials.

Furthermore, the law explicitly prohibits the use of AI systems to assemble personal images that harm an individual's reputation, honour, or dignity. It also bars the manipulation of speeches, official statements, or personal data without consent.

Penalties and sanctions

The sixth chapter of the law outlines administrative penalties and sanctions for non-compliance.

It outlines penalties for non-compliance, including warnings, licence revocations, and daily administrative fines up to BD100 for initial offences and 200 dinars per day for subsequent violations within three years.

Total fines are capped at BD10,000. Additionally, fines ranging from BD1,000 to BD5,000 are proposed for unauthorised AI system development and discriminatory programme design.

Moreover, fines of up to BD10,000 are suggested for AI systems making life-altering decisions or posing physical risks, as well as for using uncontrolled hazardous robots.