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EU Leads the Way with Comprehensive AI Act

By May 24, 2024 No Comments
EU Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act)

The European Union has recently made significant strides in AI regulation with the adoption of the EU Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act), marking the world’s first comprehensive law dedicated to artificial intelligence. This legislation aims to create a harmonised framework across the EU, ensuring the safe and ethical use of AI technologies.

Key aspects of the EU Artificial Intelligence Act (AI Act) include:

1. Risk-Based Classification: AI systems are categorised based on their risk levels: unacceptable, high-risk, and low/minimal risk. High-risk AI systems, such as those used in critical infrastructure, education, or employment, are subject to stringent requirements to ensure safety, transparency, and accountability

2. Prohibited Practices: Certain AI practices are outright banned. These include AI systems that manipulate human behaviour to cause harm, exploit vulnerabilities, or facilitate social scoring by governments.

3. Enforcement and Oversight: The enforcement of the AI Act will primarily occur at the national level within EU member states. However, the European AI Office has been established to oversee general-purpose AI models and ensure consistent application of the law across the EU. An AI Board will also provide recommendations, develop codes of conduct, and create technical standards.

4. Implementation Timeline: The Act will enter into force at the end of April or early May 2024, with a phased implementation period. Full compliance will be required within 24 months for most provisions, while certain elements, such as bans on prohibited practices, will be enforced within six months

The AI Act’s adoption underscores the EU’s commitment to leading in AI regulation, promoting innovation while safeguarding fundamental rights and ethical standards. For legal professionals and businesses, staying informed about these developments and preparing for compliance will be crucial in navigating the evolving landscape of AI governance.

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