EU AI Act Clears Final Hurdle to Become Global Landmark

The law becomes the first major global regulation on artificial intelligence that will have far-reaching implications for businesses and organizations.

EU AI Act visualization

The European Union (EU) on Tuesday passed the AI Act, a landmark legislative effort that marks the first comprehensive regulations to create guardrails for artificial intelligence.

EU members’ final approval means the act will enter into force next month. The law, first drafted in 2021, was put on a fast track in recent months as global leaders race to adopt safeguards to keep pace with the explosive growth in generative AI (GenAI) adoption.

“This landmark law, the first of its kind in the world, addresses a global technological challenge that also creates opportunities for our societies and economies,” Belgian Digitalization Minister Mathieu Michel said in a statement. “With the AI Act, Europe emphasizes the importance of trust, transparency and accountability when dealing with new technologies while at the same time ensuring this fast-changing technology can flourish and boost European innovation.”

But US companies will certainly take notice as the rules will apply to any company doing business in Europe. And the cost of running afoul of the rules could be substantial, even for multibillion-dollar US firms.

Rules for general purpose AI models will impact companies after 12 months while rules for AI systems embedded into products will strike in 36 months. Bans on AI in predictive policing, and untargeted scraping of facial images from video will come into play in six months. Fines will range from $8.2 million or 1.5% of global turnover to $37.9 million or 7% of turnover, depending on the violation.

Read the rest of this article in InformationWeek.

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