March 28, 2024
EU Parliament Passes Groundbreaking AI Act

EU Parliament Passes Groundbreaking AI Act

Comprehensive Regulations for Artificial Intelligence

The European Parliament granted final approval to the European Union’s groundbreaking artificial intelligence (AI) law, known as the EU AI Act, on March 13. This marks a significant milestone as it represents one of the world’s first comprehensive sets of regulations governing AI technologies.

Ensuring Trustworthy and Safe AI

The EU AI Act aims to govern the 27 member states of the bloc, ensuring that AI systems are trustworthy, safe, and respect fundamental rights while fostering innovation, as stated on the EU Parliament’s website. The legislation underscores the importance of developing AI that prioritizes human-centric values and adheres to ethical standards.

Historic Day for AI Regulation

European Parliament members Brando Benifei and Dragos Tudorache emphasized the historical significance of the EU AI Act, describing it as a “historic day” in the journey towards AI regulation. Benifei highlighted the legislation’s focus on creating safe and human-centric AI, aligning with the priorities set by the EU Parliament.

Path to Enactment

The journey towards enacting the EU AI Act began five years ago, gaining momentum in the past year as AI technologies advanced rapidly. After extensive negotiations, a provisional agreement was reached in December 2023, followed by endorsements from the Internal Market and Civil Liberties Committees in February 2024. With final votes locking in support, lawmakers signal their commitment to addressing the challenges posed by AI responsibly.

Global Implications and Collaboration

Tudorache highlighted the EU’s commitment to AI governance and expressed openness to collaborating with like-minded democracies worldwide. By setting a precedent with comprehensive AI regulations, the EU aims to lead by example and encourage international cooperation in shaping the future of AI governance.

Implementation and Compliance

Following today’s approval, the EU AI Act will undergo minor linguistic revisions before a second vote in April and publication in the official EU journal, likely in May. Provisions banning prohibited practices are set to take effect in November, with a focus on high-risk AI applications subjected to stringent regulations. The legislation categorizes AI models based on their societal risk, with measures in place to ensure transparency and accountability in AI usage.

EU AI compliance checker Source: Risto Uuk on X.

As organizations navigate the regulatory landscape, the EU has developed the “EU AI Act Compliance Checker” tool to assist in assessing compliance with the legislation’s requirements.

The approval of the EU AI Act represents a significant step forward in shaping the responsible development and deployment of AI technologies, setting a global standard for AI governance and ethical practice.

Image by Nicolas Raymond on Flickr

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