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EU Parliament advances on groundbreaking AI Act
Wed, 21st Feb 2024

Two core groups of legislators at the European Parliament have ratified a provisional agreement on groundbreaking artificial intelligence regulations in anticipation of a legislative assembly vote in April. This significant step could lead to the creation of the world's inaugural legislation dedicated to this technology. Named the AI Act, this regulation was unveiled in London on 14th February 2024.

The AI Act has been devised with the purpose of establishing the boundaries for AI technology. Its usage spans a diverse range of sectors, from banking, automobiles, electronics, and airlines to security and policing. The rules proposed will also hold sway over foundation models or generative AI, such as the one developed by OpenAI and supported by Microsoft. These AI systems have been trained on expansive data sets and retain the capability to learn from new data to carry out a variety of tasks.

John Kirk, AI expert and Deputy CEO at ITG, commented on the recent development, stating, "The rapid adoption of AI will bring seismic changes to the way businesses operate, impacting both jobs and the wider digital economy."

Kirk asserted that, if correctly utilised, AI holds the power to stimulate growth and revolutionise the creative industries. However, he stressed that this transformation must be carried out responsibly.

In agreement with Mr Kirk, he added, "Having a broad legal framework in place to ensure high standards of governance is a logical next step forward." He underlined the importance of ensuring that organisations can maximise the benefits of AI while still adhering to the necessary regulatory rules.

This development was trumpeted by one of the two European Parliament committees, stating on X (the social media platform previously known as Twitter) that "AI Act takes a step forward: MEPs in @EP_Justice & @EP_SingleMarket have endorsed the provisional agreement on an Artificial Intelligence Act that ensures safety and complies with fundamental rights." This powerful endorsement reflects the significance of the AI Act's progression in establishing regulations for this influential and rapidly advancing technology.