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EU Adopts Groundbreaking Artificial Intelligence Legislation

The European Union has enacted the world's first Artificial Intelligence Act, aiming to set a global standard for the safe and ethical use of AI technologies

The European Union has officially adopted the Artificial Intelligence Act, the first of its kind globally, which could set a worldwide standard for regulating artificial intelligence. The legislation, aimed at boosting the development and adoption of AI that is safe and reliable, also seeks to uphold the fundamental rights of EU citizens and promote investments and innovations in AI across Europe.

The act was lauded by Mathieu Michel, the Belgian State Secretary for Digitalization, as a turning point for the EU in addressing the global technological challenges and seizing opportunities for societal and economic advancement. The legislation specifies exemptions for military and research uses and introduces a tiered risk system for AI applications, requiring varying levels of compliance.

High-risk AI systems, such as those used in predictive policing or significant surveillance, face strict regulatory requirements to ensure they do not infringe on individual freedoms or privacy. Meanwhile, low-risk applications like video games or spam filters will need to meet minimal transparency standards.

This landmark legislation also prohibits AI systems that categorize individuals based on gender, ethnicity, or other sensitive attributes. It will officially go into effect 20 days after its publication in the EU Official Journal, with a full application set two years later, allowing businesses and governments time to comply.

The Act comes as AI usage has surged, nearly doubling over the past six months, with significant adoption in the workplace, as noted in recent surveys by Microsoft and LinkedIn. Under the new law, European citizens will have avenues to report violations and safeguard their rights against the misuse of AI technologies.

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