View all AI news articles

The EU Says Yes to a Big AI Rule Book

March 14, 2024

The EU's big thumbs-up to the AI Act is a lot like getting a complicated recipe right, but wondering if the cake will taste good.

The European Parliament just voted a big yes to something called the AI Act. Imagine it like a rule book for how companies can make and use AI, trying to make sure it's safe and fair for everyone. This vote is a big deal because it means the EU is leading the charge in trying to figure out how to keep AI in check.

Here's the scoop:

  • The AI Act is like a guide for using AI safely.
  • It got a lot of support: 523 votes for it, only 46 against.
  • The rules are about making sure AI doesn't cause harm and is used in a good way.

What's in this AI Act?

  • It sets up rules based on how risky an AI thing might be. Like, if it's super risky, there are more rules.
  • Some AI uses are a big no-no, like trying to trick people or making unfair scores about them.
  • But not all AI has to follow tough rules. Some just need to be clear about what they're doing.

This Act isn't law yet. It's almost there, just needs one more yes from a group called the Council. Then, there's a bit of waiting before everything kicks in, fully by 2027.

If companies don't follow these rules, they could get fined a lot of money. We're talking up to 7% of their yearly money for the really bad stuff.

People who made this rule book, like Dragoș Tudorache, think it's a big step towards making sure AI is used in a good way, where it helps us without stepping over the line.

But, not everyone's super happy. Some think the rules could have been tougher, especially on the big AI brains that can do a ton of stuff. There was a bit of back-and-forth, with some people wanting fewer rules so Europe can keep up in the AI game.

Looking ahead

This AI rule book is just the start. The EU knows AI is going to change a lot of things – work, school, even how countries protect themselves. So, they're saying, "Let's keep talking and make sure we can update the rules when we need to."

They also want to work with other countries on this because AI doesn't stop at borders. It's everywhere, so it's better if everyone can agree on some basic do's and don'ts.

In the end, the EU's AI Act is about trying to make sure AI does more good than harm, without stopping all the cool stuff it can do. It's a big step, but there's still a lot of work to do to make sure the rules work and AI stays on the right track.


Where to Find the Original Document:

  • EU Artificial Intelligence Act website: The most direct source is This site offers the various drafts and the latest adopted text.
  • European Union legislation portal (EUR-Lex): This official website provides access to all EU legal documents: You can search for the AI Act using relevant keywords.

Key Points about the EU AI Act:

  • Purpose: It's the first major legislative framework specifically designed to regulate artificial intelligence systems. Its goal is to ensure AI is developed and used in a safe, trustworthy, and ethical way while fostering innovation within the EU.
  • Risk-Based Approach: The Act categorizes AI systems based on risk:
    • Unacceptable Risk: AI systems that pose a clear threat to safety or fundamental rights are banned (e.g., government social scoring systems).
    • High-Risk: Systems in sensitive areas (e.g., employment, law enforcement, critical infrastructure) have strict requirements for transparency, accuracy, and human oversight.
    • Limited Risk: AI with specific transparency obligations (e.g., letting users know they're interacting with an AI chatbot).
    • Minimal Risk: Most AI applications fall into this category with no new regulation (e.g., AI-powered spam filters)
  • Enforcement: The Act establishes fines for non-compliance, which can be quite significant for major violations.

Recent articles

View all articles