Artificial Intelligence Act: A Step Towards Regulating AI in Europe


Artificial Intelligence Act: A Step Towards Regulating AI in Europe

AI or Artificial Intelligence is the buzzword of the decade, and almost everyone has an opinion on it. While some have a positive outlook, others are skeptical about the impact of AI on society. In response to this, the European Commission proposed a new law regulating AI, known as the Artificial Intelligence Act.  

In this article, we will take a closer look at the Artificial Intelligence Act and its implications for businesses, consumers, and society. We will discuss its scope, key features, and the challenges that lie ahead.  

What is the Artificial Intelligence Act?

The Artificial Intelligence Act is a regulatory framework proposed by the European Commission for the development and deployment of AI technology in the European Union. It is intended to ensure that AI technology is used ethically, legally, and in a way that benefits people and society as a whole.  

The Act covers a wide range of AI applications, including machine learning, deep learning, and neural networks. It also includes a classification system for AI applications based on their perceived level of risk. The risk classification system ranges from unacceptable risk to minimal risk, based on the potential harm to individuals and society.  

Key Features of the Artificial Intelligence Act

The Artificial Intelligence Act has several key features that provide a framework for the development and deployment of AI technology. These features include:

Risk-Based Approach

The Act is based on a risk-based approach, which means that the level of regulatory oversight required depends on the level of risk posed by the AI application. For example, an AI application that poses a high risk, such as autonomous vehicles, will be subject to stricter regulation than an AI application that poses a minimal risk, such as a language translation tool.  

 Prohibition of Unacceptable Risk

The Act prohibits the development, deployment, and use of AI applications that pose an unacceptable risk to individuals and society. Unacceptable risk is defined as a risk that is high enough to outweigh any benefits of the AI application. Examples of unacceptable risks include AI systems that manipulate human behavior, AI systems that allow for social scoring, and AI systems that use biometric data for surveillance purposes.  

Transparency and Traceability

The Act requires that AI developers provide a high level of transparency and traceability for their systems. This means that AI systems should be designed to provide clear explanations for their decision-making processes, as well as an audit trail of their actions. The Act also requires that AI developers provide detailed documentation on the data sets used to train their systems, to ensure that the data used is of high quality and free from bias.  

Accountability and Liability

The Act places a strong emphasis on accountability and liability for AI developers and users. AI developers are responsible for ensuring their systems comply with the Act and for addressing any issues that arise. Users of AI systems are also held accountable for any harm caused by their use of the system.  

Certification and Market Surveillance

The Act establishes a certification system for AI applications, similar to the system used for medical devices. This certification system ensures that AI applications meet the necessary safety and quality standards before they are deployed. The Act also includes provisions for market surveillance, to ensure that AI applications continue to comply with the Act once they are on the market.  

 Challenges and Concerns

While the Artificial Intelligence Act has the potential to provide a much-needed framework for the use of AI technology, there are also concerns and challenges that need to be addressed.  

One concern is that the Act may stifle innovation in the AI industry, particularly for smaller companies and startups. The regulatory burden may be too high for these companies to comply with, which could lead to a lack of competition in the industry.

There are also concerns about the geopolitical implications of the Act, with some experts suggesting that it could lead to a split in the development of AI technology between Europe and the United States or China.  

Another challenge is the difficulty of defining and measuring the level of risk posed by different AI applications. While the Act provides a framework for risk classification, there is still debate about how to define and measure the potential harm caused by AI applications.  


In conclusion, the Artificial Intelligence Act is an important step towards regulating the development and deployment of AI technology in Europe. Its risk-based approach, emphasis on transparency and accountability, and certification system provide a framework for the responsible use of AI. However, challenges and concerns still need to be addressed, particularly around the potential impact on innovation and the difficulty of measuring risk. With continued dialogue and engagement between stakeholders, the Artificial Intelligence Act has the potential to be a valuable tool for ensuring that AI benefits society as a whole.


Jonathan Browne
Jonathan Browne
Jonathan Browne is the CEO and Founder of Livy.AI

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