EU AI ACT: How far are we from becoming full-fledged Blade Runner?

18 June 2024


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The European Union's AI Act is a pioneering effort to regulate artificial intelligence, ensuring it aligns with fundamental rights, safety, and ethical standards. This Act emphasizes that AI should benefit humanity and avoid harm, a principle supported by Italian economist Mario Draghi. It mandates that AI development and use prioritize human benefit and safety.

Comprehensive regulation for safe and ethical AI development

Proposed by the European Commission on April 21, 2021, and passed by the European Parliament on March 13, 2024, the Act received unanimous EU Council approval on May 21, 2024. It applies to AI systems, within and outside the EU, categorizing AI applications into four risk categories: unacceptable, high, limited, and minimal risk, with additional rules for general-purpose AI. Unacceptable risk systems, such as those used for social scoring, are banned, while high-risk systems must meet stringent requirements. Limited-risk systems have transparency obligations and minimal-risk systems are largely unregulated.

The Act excludes AI used for military, national security, research, or non-professional purposes and prohibits real-time remote biometric identification and social scoring, with specific exceptions. It targets industries like transportation, healthcare, and climate change, where AI can enhance safety, efficiency, and sustainability. The legislation distinguishes between AI providers (developers) and deployers (users), imposing different obligations on each to ensure compliance and safety.

Unlocking market opportunities and sustainable growth through the EU AI Act

The AI Act offers significant market opportunities, particularly in the EU, which values transparency, safety, and respect for fundamental rights. Compliance with the Act can enhance corporate competitiveness and consumer trust, fostering an environment of innovation. It reduces administrative and financial burdens, especially for SMEs, aligning with global optimism towards AI as a catalyst for economic development, particularly in the Global South.

Efficiency gains from AI must align with broader sustainability and compliance goals, considering the well-being of the workforce and adhering to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards. AI can optimize energy use and reduce emissions, enhancing long-term viability and market positioning. Ensuring that AI-driven efficiencies do not compromise compliance or human well-being is crucial for sustainable productivity growth.

SOURCE: full article drafted by Boies Schiller Flexner Italy available here: EU AI ACT: How far are we from becoming full-fledged Blade Runner?

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EU AI ACT: How far are we from becoming full-fledged Blade Runner?

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