The European Parliament Approves the AI Act: What It Means for You

In a landmark decision, the European Parliament has officially approved the AI Act, marking a pivotal moment in the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies across Europe. This groundbreaking legislation introduces a comprehensive framework to govern the deployment and development of AI, prioritizing the safety, transparency, and accountability of these technologies. Here's what everyone should know about the AI Act and its implications.

A Risk-Based Approach to AI Regulation

The AI Act categorizes AI systems based on their potential risk to society, with certain applications being outright banned due to their harmful nature. These prohibitions include AI systems that:

  • Manipulate cognitive behavior in individuals or specific vulnerable groups;
  • Implement social scoring mechanisms to classify individuals based on behavior, socioeconomic status, or personal characteristics;
  • Utilize biometric identification and categorization;
  • Employ real-time and remote biometric identification systems, such as facial recognition technologies.

High-Risk AI Systems Under Scrutiny

AI applications deemed as "high-risk" encompass a wide range of systems that could significantly impact the life and health of citizens, the administration of justice, and democratic processes. High-risk categories include AI used in:

  • Critical infrastructures, like transportation, affecting citizen safety;
  • Educational or vocational training that influences one's access to education and professional trajectory;
  • Product safety components, including those in robot-assisted surgery;
  • Employment and worker management, including CV-sorting software for recruitment;
  • Essential services, such as credit scoring systems;
  • Law enforcement, migration, asylum, and border control management;
  • Administration of justice and democratic processes.

High-risk AI systems will undergo rigorous assessment before market introduction and will be continually evaluated throughout their lifecycle. Moreover, individuals will have the right to file complaints regarding AI systems to designated national authorities.

Generative AI and Transparency Obligations

Interestingly, generative AI technologies, like ChatGPT, are not classified as high-risk. However, they are subject to specific transparency requirements and must adhere to EU copyright laws. These obligations include:

  • Disclosing when content is AI-generated;
  • Designing AI models to prevent the creation of illegal content;
  • Publishing summaries of copyrighted data used in training.

Implementation Timeline and Penalties for Non-Compliance

The AI Act is slated to officially become law by May or June, with its provisions being implemented in stages:

  • Six months after becoming law, countries must ban the identified prohibited AI systems.
  • One year later, regulations for general-purpose AI systems will be enforced.
  • Two years from enactment, the full scope of the AI Act will become enforceable.

Violations of the AI Act can lead to fines of up to 35 million Euros or 7% of the entity's worldwide annual turnover, emphasizing the seriousness with which the European Union is approaching AI regulation.


The approval of the AI Act by the European Parliament represents a significant step forward in the responsible governance of AI technologies. By establishing clear guidelines and prohibitions, the Act aims to ensure that AI serves the public good while safeguarding fundamental rights and freedoms. As we move towards a more AI-integrated future, the AI Act sets a precedent for how governments worldwide might approach the regulation of these powerful technologies.

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