First agreement on the EU’s AI Act

The European Union has taken a significant step in regulating Artificial Intelligence technologies with the agreement on the AI Act, the first of its kind globally. This legislation aims to classify and regulate AI technologies to ensure they are safe, transparent, traceable, non-discriminatory, and environmentally friendly.

The AI Act categorizes AI systems based on the potential risks they pose to society. Key aspects of the law include preventing harm to public interests and rights, promoting research and innovation without impeding it, and considering the impact of AI on the environment and society. The law emphasizes that AI should not replace human autonomy and should primarily serve society’s needs and the common good.

One of the most notable elements of the AI Act is the classification of AI systems into different risk categories. Systems with “unacceptable risk,” such as those used for cognitive behavioral manipulation or social scoring, will be banned. “High-risk” AI systems, which could impact safety or fundamental rights, will undergo strict scrutiny and must be assessed before being marketed and throughout their lifecycle. This includes systems used in products like toys, aircraft, cars, medical devices, and elevators, as well as systems in specific areas like biometric identification, critical infrastructure management, education and vocational training, employment, access to essential private and public services, and legal aid.

Generative AI systems, like ChatGPT, must comply with transparency requirements, including disclosing that the content was AI-generated, preventing the generation of illegal content, and publishing summaries of copyrighted training data.

The AI Act is set to be implemented in phases, with different provisions coming into effect at different times. The full implementation of the law may not be realized until 2026. This law represents a significant step for the EU to become a global leader in developing secure, trustworthy, and ethical AI while ensuring the protection of ethical principles and European values.

The agreement on the AI Act marks a historic moment in digital information history in Europe and globally. It provides legal and technical certainty for European developers, startups, and future scale-ups, essential for harnessing AI’s potential while safeguarding fundamental rights and democratic values. This represents an unprecedented example of how legislation and technological innovation can work together to shape a safe and equitable digital future.

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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