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EU Parliament Approves Landmark AI Act, Paving the Way for Safe and Ethical AI Development

The EU Parliament has approved the EU AI Act, a landmark legislation aiming to ensure safe and ethical AI development. The act categorizes AI applications based on risk and prohibits those posing clear threats. Industry responses have been mixed.

A Milestone in AI Regulation

The European Parliament has made history by approving the EU AI Act, marking one of the world's first comprehensive sets of regulations for artificial intelligence. The act aims to ensure that AI development within the European Union is trustworthy, safe, and respects fundamental rights while fostering innovation.

Key Points of the EU AI Act

The EU AI Act categorizes AI applications into four risk-based categories, with high-risk models subject to the most stringent rules. The act prohibits "unacceptable risk" AI systems that pose clear threats to safety, livelihoods, and rights, such as social scoring by governments or toys encouraging dangerous behavior.

Impact on AI Applications

High-risk applications include critical infrastructures, education, safety components of products, essential public services, and law enforcement. Limited-risk applications focus on transparency in AI usage, such as ensuring users are aware when interacting with AI chatbots.

Implementation and Enforcement

The EU AI Act will undergo minor linguistic changes during the translation phase before a final vote in April and publication in the official EU journal, likely in May. Bans on prohibited practices will begin to take effect in November, with mandatory compliance timelines set in place.

Response from Industry and Experts

While the EU AI Act has faced criticism from some tech companies concerned about overregulation, others, like IBM, have praised the legislation for its risk-based approach and commitment to ethical AI practices. IBM's vice president and chief privacy and trust officer, Christina Montgomery, commended the EU for its leadership in passing the legislation.