Europe Sets Global Standard with New AI Law

May 30, 2024 By: JK Tech

Artificial intelligence is becoming a crucial part of our daily lives. However, as AI grows, so do the problems it can create. Issues like spreading false information, invading privacy, and ethical concerns are becoming more common.

The European Union (EU) has adopted a ground-breaking set of rules governing artificial intelligence, establishing a potential global standard for this influential technology. The AI Act, endorsed by EU countries in May 2024, places a strong emphasis on transparency, accountability, and responsible development in the field of AI.

This legislation stands in contrast to the lighter regulatory approaches currently seen in the United States and China. The EU’s AI Act aims to boost safe and fair AI development to avoid problems like fake news and bias.

The AI Act requires developers of high-risk AI systems to explain how their models work clearly. It also restricts the government’s use of real-time facial recognition in public spaces. Exceptions are allowed for serious crimes, counter-terrorism efforts, and apprehending dangerous individuals.

The AI Act is anticipated to influence beyond the EU’s 27 member states. Companies around the world that handle EU customer data in their AI operations will probably need to adhere to the new regulations. Experts predict that the AI Act will become a template for AI regulation in other nations, similar to how the EU’s GDPR has impacted global data privacy practices.

While the full legislation will be enforced by 2026, some rules will take effect sooner. Restrictions on AI applications like social scoring, predictive policing, and indiscriminate facial image scraping will start six months after the regulation is in force. General-purpose AI models must comply within a 12-month timeframe, whereas AI systems integrated into regulated products will have 36 months to comply.

Companies that violate the AI Act risk significant fines, ranging from 7.5 million euros ($8.2 million) or 1.5% of a company’s annual turnover to 35 million euros or 7% of global turnover, depending on the violation.

The AI Act introduced by the European Union is expected to set a precedent for AI regulation worldwide. By addressing misinformation, privacy, and ethical concerns, Europe is setting a high standard for AI governance. This approach ensures that AI can continue to innovate while protecting public interests and maintaining trust.

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