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  • Writer's pictureAustėja Dimaitytė

What's new in Artificial Intelligence Regulation? European AI Act and Global impact

The long-standing legal and regulatory void in Europe and the world regarding the use and application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been gaining momentum recently, with the European Parliament and the Council reaching political agreement on the draft EU AI Act as early as the end of 2023 (as we have previously discussed here), EU countries reaching an agreement on the technical details of the Act in February of this year, and some EU Member States having already initiated national legislation on their own to define the use of AI a little earlier, etc.

All this sends a clear message: the issue is very important and decisions need to be taken as soon as possible, avoiding cases where lengthy discussions are bogged down by wording or word order. And this is an important issue, not only in Europe, but in the whole world.


Whats new in AI regulation

It is not only Europe that is raising the issue of Artificial Intelligence (AI) regulation, and this is an important message that underscores the significance of this issue.

The United Nations General Assembly on March 21 unanimously adopted the first global resolution on artificial intelligence, which encourages countries to safeguard human rights, protect personal data, and monitor AI for risks.

 

The resolution represents the most recent effort in a series of global initiatives aimed at setting guidelines for the advancement of AI. It addresses concerns about the potential misuse of AI to disrupt democratic processes, commit fraud, or cause other forms of harm.

 

Jake Sullivan, the U.S. National Security Advisor, mentioned that the resolution underwent nearly four months of negotiations. He highlighted that it provides the world with "a baseline set of principles to guide next steps in AI’s development and use."

 

Although not legally binding, this document establishes standards and unmistakably indicates a growing number of initiatives aimed at regulating AI.

 

Meanwhile in Europe, on 13 March, EU lawmakers gave final approval to the European Artificial Intelligence Act, a set of rules aimed at regulating artificial intelligence through a risk-based approach. It is expected to enter into force in May or June after final formalities.

 

The general-purpose AI rules will apply one year after entry into force (likely in May 2025), and the obligations for high-risk systems will take effect in three years.

 

Europe's biggest challenge now will be to keep in Europe the companies directly affected by AI regulation. Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl, head of EU trade organization Digital Europe, pointed out that <…> By 2030, the global AI market is expected to reach $1.5 trillion, and we need to ensure that European companies tap into that without getting tangled up in red tape“.

 

Lithuanian folk wisdom says, Prepare the Sleeves in summer', so let's not forget that we need to start preparing for the new regulation now.

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