EU Leads the Way with Landmark AI Act: What You Need to Know

The European Parliament and Council have come to an agreement on the world’s first set of rules for artificial intelligence, known as the AI Act. This legislation aims to control the risks associated with advanced automation and misinformation. The agreement was reached after two years of negotiations and will now need to be formally ratified by the European Council and the European Parliament before becoming law.

The AI Act will regulate how companies, governments, and law enforcement agencies can use artificial intelligence. The focus is on preventing malicious applications of AI, such as predictive policing, facial recognition, and manipulating human behavior. The legislation also targets big tech companies, imposing new transparency requirements on their AI systems.

However, the provisions in the AI Act are not expected to be enforceable for another 12 to 24 months. This delay raises questions about the effectiveness of the legislation, especially given the rapid evolution of the artificial intelligence industry. Nonetheless, the agreement represents an important milestone in the regulation of AI and sets a precedent for other countries and regions to follow.

The AI Act has faced criticism from some lawmakers who expressed concerns about hindering the growth of homegrown AI startups. Despite this, the EU remains committed to setting the standard for regulating big tech, as demonstrated by its previous actions related to data collection and charging ports on electronic devices.

In conclusion, the provisional agreement on the AI Act is a significant step towards managing the potential risks associated with artificial intelligence. The legislation represents the first effort to establish concrete rules for the use of AI, and while its long-term impact remains uncertain, it sets a precedent for global standards in the regulation of this rapidly evolving technology.