The EU sets the first strict rules regarding AI

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Ever since generative AI first hit the market in November of 2022, we’ve all been wondering just how governmental agencies were going to regulate this technology and force companies to keep from crossing very important lines. Well, it’s taking over a year, but the EU has just laid down its first set of strict rules regarding AI.

This marks a world first, leaving other countries playing catch-up. Other major countries developing regulations regarding AI technology include the US and China. However, these regulations all remain speculative. AI technology is developing quickly, so it’s no surprise that it’s taking a long time to develop proper laws. However, it seems that the EU has other countries beat. Hopefully, other countries will follow suit.

The EU outlines the first set of strict rules for AI

These rules all lie under the EU AI Act that was conceived back in 2021. While this act has been talked about since December, the MEP (Members of the European Parliament) officially endorsed it during the Parliament’s Wednesday session. While the act did receive a fair share of opposition in the form of 46 votes against it, they received a whopping 523 votes in favor.

What these rules will do is divide different types of AI systems based on their potential risk. For example, AI being used for something mundane like spam blocking counts as a low risk. However, AI technology targeted for governmental use will be counted as high risk. This means that it will have the strictest rules against it. Also, some uses of AI, like the use of AI for biometric surveillance, will be strictly prohibited.

A work in progress

Right now, the rules are still baking, so you shouldn’t expect any laws to be passed in the near future. For starters, these rules are still being finalized. When they are finalized, they are expected to be inducted into law by May or June this year.

Even then, it will still take a while for the government to start enforcing these laws. Countries will have deadlines to start enforcing these laws for AI systems being used within them. For example, if AI systems are prohibited, countries will have six months to ban them. These countries will also have a full year to enforce rules against general-purpose AI systems like chatbots. Lastly, countries will have 36 months to enforce laws governing high-risk AI systems.

So, some of these laws will not start taking effect until 2027. Hopefully, that’s not too late. Technology is rapidly evolving, so we have no idea what the AI landscape will look like in a year or in 36 months. In any case, it is good to see that there is some solid legislation being implemented towards AI.

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