The EU Artificial Intelligence Act (or “AI Act”) is the world’s first legislation to regulate the use of AI. It leaves room for “technical soft law”; but, inevitably (being the first and being broad in scope), it will set principles and standards for AI development and governance.


Copyright: “The EU Artificial Intelligence Act: What’s The Impact?”


The UK is concentrating more on soft law, working towards a decentralized principle-based approach. The US and China are working on their own AI regulations, with the US focusing more on soft law, privacy, and ethics and China on explainable AI algorithms, aiming for companies to be transparent about their purpose. The AI Act marks a crucial step in regulating AI in Europe, and a global code of conduct on AI could harmonize practices worldwide, ensuring safe and ethical AI use. This article gives an overview of the EU Act, its main aspects as well as an overview of other AI legislative initiatives in the European Union and how these are influencing other jurisdictions, such us the UK, the US and China.

The AI Act: The First AI Legislation. Other Jurisdictions Are Catching Up

On June 14, 2023, the European Parliament achieved a significant milestone by approving the Artificial Intelligence Act (or “AI Act”), making it the world’s first piece of legislation to regulate the use of artificial intelligence. This approval has initiated negotiations with the Council of the European Union which will determine the final wording of the Act. The final version of the AI Act is expected to be published by the end of 2023. Following this, the Regulation is expected to be fully effective in 2026. A two-year grace period similar to the one contemplated by the GDPR is currently being considered. This grace period would enable companies to adapt gradually and prepare for the changes until the rules come into force.

As the pioneers in regulating AI, the European institutions are actively engaged in discussions that are likely to establish both de facto (essential for the expansion and growth of AI businesses, just like any other industries) and de jure (creating healthy competition among jurisdictions) standards worldwide. These discussions aim to shape the development and governance of artificial intelligence, setting an influential precedent for the global AI community.

Both the United States and China are making efforts to catch up. In October 2022, the US government unveiled its “Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights,” centered around privacy standards and rigorous testing before AI systems become publicly available. In April 2022, China followed a similar path by presenting a draft of rules mandating chatbot-makers to comply with state censorship laws.[…]

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