Lawmakers at the National Assembly have furthered the implementation of the AI surveillance bill at Paris 2024 with the latest vote ©Getty Images

French lawmakers at the National Assembly have overwhelmingly voted for artificial intelligence (AI) powered surveillance cameras to be used at the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games by 400 to 93.

The technology will be able to flag potential security concerns, such as abandoned packages or crowd surges before human operators decide if action is needed.

The country's authorities insist the surveillance would not involve facial recognition.

The majority right-wing Senate overwhelmingly approved the draft in January, by 245 votes to 28 before the National Assembly followed suit today with a 400-93 vote that Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra hailed as "an essential step".

"It was a question of finding a balance between the defence of public freedoms and the needs of maintaining order and security for the Olympics," said Guillaume Vuilletet, Member of the National Assembly for Val-d'Oise's second constituency, as reported by Le Parisien.

Article 7, the issue at hand, is set to be adopted for the Olympics, due to open on July 26 2024, and will also feature for the Paralympics, before ending on December 31 2024.

The motion states that the technology can be used on an experimental basis to the end of next year to safeguard events that are at particular risk of being targeted by terror attacks.

The latest vote on the use of AI-powered surveillance cameras at Paris 2024 was passed by 400-93 at the National Assembly ©Getty Images
The latest vote on the use of AI-powered surveillance cameras at Paris 2024 was passed by 400-93 at the National Assembly ©Getty Images

The approved draft is now set for further optimising by Assembly members and senators before its final adoption which is expected to be approved in April.

Even though the initial bill says the cameras will not use facial recognition they are still liable to scrutinise physical traits including people's posture and walk.

Opponents are also concerned that the technology risks focusing on those who spend a lot of time in public spaces such as homeless people while the bill also clears the way for the technology's use in cameras mounted on drones.

Human rights organisations argue that France will violate international law by becoming the first of 27 European Union countries to legalise AI-powered surveillance even if just temporarily.

Amnesty International advisor on AI regulation Mher Hakobyan claims that the technology's use "risks permanently transforming France into a dystopian surveillance state" and "will lead to an all-out assault on the rights to privacy, protest, and freedom of assembly and expression".

The law's passing comes amid huge social unrest in France following the Government's Pension Reform Bill.

The motion would increase the retirement age in the country from 62 to 64 and was forced through the French Parliament sparking violence and arson attacks during the already widespread protests.