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Artificial Intelligence Act approved! We sum it up!


Source: Artificial Intelligence Act: MEPs adopt landmark law | News | European Parliament (europa.eu)

On a groundbreaking day, the Artificial Intelligence Act - Artificial Intelligence Act: MEPs adopt landmark law | News | European Parliament (europa.eu) was passed and approved, setting a global benchmark for AI governance. With a sweeping vote of 523 in favor, the EU embarks on a journey to safeguard fundamental rights and spur innovation. Here's what this landmark law entails in general:


  • The Act introduces stringent controls on general-purpose AI, ensuring that innovation doesn't come at the cost of ethical values or human rights.

  • Biometric Boundaries were imposed since tight restrictions are now in place against the indiscriminate use of biometric identification by law enforcement, safeguarding privacy in our public spaces.

  • It puts an end to social scoring and any AI that seeks to manipulate or prey on user vulnerabilities—a win for personal freedom and integrity.

  • People now have the right to raise concerns and demand clear explanations about AI decisions that affect their lives, making technology more transparent and accountable.

  • The Act bans the unregulated scraping of facial images for recognition databases, preserving our anonymity in public areas.


This historic regulation balances the scales between upholding democratic values and fostering technological advancement. It categorically bans AI applications that risk citizen rights, like emotion recognition in workplaces and schools, predictive policing based on profiling, and exploitation through AI.


  • While the principle stands firm against biometric identification, narrow exceptions exist for critical scenarios, ensuring both safety and privacy.

  • AI systems posing significant risks now face comprehensive obligations, including transparency, accuracy, and human oversight.

  • To keep Europe at the forefront of AI innovation, regulatory sandboxes will support SMEs and startups, enabling them to navigate the new landscape with confidence.


 

To whom the regulation is applied to?


  • providers placing on the market or putting into service AI systems or placing on the market general-purpose AI models in the Union, irrespective of whether those providers are established or located within the Union or in a third country;

  • deployers of AI systems that have their place of establishment or are located within the Union;

  • providers and deployers of AI systems that have their place of establishment or are located in a third country, where the output produced by the AI system is used in the Union;

  • importers and distributors of AI systems;

  • to AI systems released under free and open source licences, unless they are placed on the market or put into service as high-risk AI systems or as an AI system that falls under Article 5 or 50.

  • product manufacturers placing on the market or putting into service an AI system together with their product and under their own name or trademark;

  • authorised representatives of providers, which are not established in the Union;

  • affected persons that are located in the Union.


 

The AI Act does not applies to:


  • AI systems that are used exclusively for military, defense, or national security purposes, both within and outside the Union, regardless of the entity using them.

  • Public authorities of third countries and international organizations using AI systems under international cooperation or agreements for law enforcement and judicial cooperation with the Union or Member States are excluded, given they ensure protection of fundamental rights.

  • scientific research and development.

  • Activities related to the research, testing, or development of AI systems or models before they are marketed or put into service are excluded, provided they comply with applicable Union laws. Real-world testing is not included in this exclusion.


As Brando Benifei aptly noted, "Europe positions human beings and our values at the heart of AI’s evolution." The AI Act is more than a law; it's a commitment to ethical technology, protecting workers and citizens alike.

With the AI Office gearing up to guide compliance, Europe stands ready to lead by example. The future of AI is not just about technological breakthroughs but about how we align them with our deepest values of fairness, equity, and respect for human dignity.


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