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AI Act

What is the AI Act?

Negotiations on the rules for dealing with AI have taken a good three years, but an agreement has now been reached. This is the world's first set of rules that provides for rules for artificial intelligence. It is intended to create legal certainty for all economic players involved in the private and public sectors (provider, and deployers of AI systems, product manufacturers, authorised representatives, importers and distributors). The AI Act is intended to promote the introduction of human-centred and trustworthy AI systems while ensuring a high level of protection for health, safety and fundamental rights, including democracy, the rule of law and protection of the environment. 

Text of the AI Act

What has happened so far at EU level??

  • With the White Paper on Artificial Intelligence on 19 February 2020, the first concepts regarding the development of AI in the European Union were presented
  • On 21 April 2021, the Commission followed with its official proposal for a regulation

  • Trilogue negotiations between the EU Parliament, Council and Commission led to a political agreement on 9 December 2023
  • On 13 March 2024, the EU Parliament passed the AI Act
  • On 21 May 2024, the Council of the European Union adopted the AI Act
  • The AI Act was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 12 July 2024

Next steps

The obligations will apply in stages.

Time Frame of the AI Act

Objectives of the AI Act

The AI Act was adopted with the aim of establishing a standardised legal framework for aspects relating to AI systems. The purpose of this Regulation is to improve the functioning of the internal market and promote the uptake of human-centric and trustworthy artificial intelligence (AI), while ensuring a high level of protection of health, safety, fundamental rights enshrined in the Charter, including democracy, the rule of law and environmental protection, against the harmful effects of AI systems in the Union and supporting innovation (Art. 1 para. 1 AIA). It brings:

  • Harmonised rules for the placing on the market, putting into service and use of AI systems in the Union;
  • Prohibitions of certain AI practices;
  • Specific requirements for high-risk AI systems and obligations for operators of such systems;
  • Harmonised transparency rules for certain AI systems;
  • Harmonised rules for the placing on the market of general purpose AI models;
  • Rules on market monitoring, market surveillance governance and enforcement;
  • Measures to support innovation with a particular focus on SMEs, including start-ups.

Other relevant legal acts

Even before and during the negotiations on the AI Act, other legal acts were adopted or are still being negotiated at EU level that are important for the application of the AI Act, for AI systems, and general-purpose AI models.

Other relevant legal acts (extract):