18.03.2024 Intellectual property

AI Act adopted. Artificial intelligence under EU control

On 13 March 2024, after a long period of work, the European Parliament adopted the Artificial Intelligence Regulation (AI Act). This groundbreaking regulation aims to provide clear requirements and obligations regarding specific uses of AI.

First comprehensive AI law

Why is the EU IA Act so important and its adoption so widely commented on? This is the world’s first comprehensive regulation on artificial intelligence systems. It organises AI-related issues, introduces system classification and mechanisms to protect users.

The AI Act aims to ensure that fundamental rights, democracy, the rule of law and environmental sustainability are protected from high risk AI, as we read on the official website of the European Parliament.

The review of the work of the EU bodies and the content of the Regulation clearly indicate that the main concern of legislators was to ensure the safety of citizens – system users – in the face of the accelerating development of AI, while ensuring the conditions for further development of such tools in Europe.

This is what the European legislator wants to achieve by classifying AI-based systems depending on the level of risk posed by the technology to fundamental rights and freedoms.

AI Act – 4 Levels of Risk

The AI Act defines four levels of risk:

  • unacceptable,
  • high,
  • limited, and
  • minimal.

This classification is essentially the core of the new regulation, which aims to create an acceptable framework for the functioning of AI systems with a higher degree of risk. Of course, unacceptable risk tools will be completely banned.

High-risk systems are subject to a number of restrictions imposed by the Regulation, for example, regarding the processing or use of particular categories of data collected by AI systems.

Regulation adopted on Wednesday by the European Parliament, on the one hand, aims to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals and, on the other hand, ensure that AI-based tools can be further developed but within a clearly defined legal framework.

By setting a regulatory framework for the creation and use of AI models, the AI Act aims to breathe new life into European hi-tech players, including mushrooming startups. It will also enable them to develop new AI tools and build their competitive position towards non-EU producers (mainly from the US and China).

The AI Act will soon come into force

The Artificial Intelligence Regulation is still awaiting adoption by the EU Council. This should take place before the end of the current term of office of the EU bodies. The AI Act is due to enter into force twenty days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU and will fully apply 24 months after entry into force (with some exceptions). Therefore, it can be expected that the Regulation may enter into force in May or June of this year if the Regulation is swiftly processed by the Council.

Piotr Dudek Director of the New Technologies, Defence & Aerospace Department, Advocate
TGC Corporate Lawyers
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