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The European Parliament approved the AI Act, which might have a massive impact on positioning the EU within the technology world for the coming years.
After the tension of the last few days, the European Parliament passed the groundbreaking EU AI Act.
Major issues of the discussion pertained to
- the usage of remote biometric identification that is now allowed only ex-post with judicial authorization;
- the obligations applicable to generative AI and foundation models in terms of information to be disclosed to the value chain, transparency on data sets used in AI training;
- the amount of penalties will be up to 7% of the turnover of the breaching entity, depending on the type of violation.
A tricky aspect is the timing before the AI Act becomes applicable. The current version of the AI Act provides for a two-year transition period. Still, the concern is that this period might be too long, and artificial intelligence requires immediate regulations. Accordingly, Mr. Benifei, the MP acting as rapporteur in the European Parliament for the AI Act, in a video interview with my law firm, DLA Piper, (available in Italian HERE) emphasized the importance of
- The AI Code of Conduct, once finalized, will be put before G7 leaders as a joint transatlantic proposal, and companies would be encouraged to commit to comply with that voluntarily. The goal is to have rules that can be immediately applied and have a global reach; and
- The AI Pact that is a commitment to comply with the terms of the AI Act voluntarily before it becomes binding.
These two initiatives, together with the vote of the EU Parliament, show the EU’s intent to render the European Union a leader in AI regulation globally, ahead of the United States with an expected so-called “Brussels effect” with other legislators like China and the US that will adopt rules on artificial intelligence resembling the EU AI Act.
Policymakers rushed so far as to adopt regulations able to rule artificial intelligence. Negotiations will continue among the European Parliament, Commission, and Council, with a final agreement expected by year-end before the new EU elections.
There is no doubt that the vote of the EU Parliament has to be welcomed and might change the position of dependency of the EU countries on US and Chinese technologies, creating an environment where the first EU technology champions may flourish.
We will see how the situation evolves. On a similar topic, you can find the following article interesting “AI Act agreed, what you need to know on the upcoming EU artificial intelligence law!“