European Parliament AI Act: World’s First Binding Law on Artificial Intelligence

The European Parliament has taken significant steps to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) through the Artificial Intelligence Act.

The AI Act aims to protect fundamental rights, democracy, the rule of law and environmental sustainability while fostering innovation. It positions Europe as a leader in AI development. AI systems are categorized based on their potential harm. This ranges from low-risk services like spam filters to high-risk tools used in critical infrastructure. The highest risk tier is labeled “unacceptable,” and these systems are prohibited.

High-risk AI systems are subject to a more rigorous governance regime. Developers must log system activities and processes to ensure traceability. This is crucial for accountability and transparency.

Controversy and Concerns: The move to legislate AI has sparked controversy. Some member states, including France and Germany, worry that the rules could hinder domestic companies and potentially give an advantage to competitors in the United States and China.

Implementation Timeline: The AI Act will take effect in a staggered manner over the next two years. Its provisions to protect fundamental rights, such as banning biometric categorization systems based on sensitive characteristics and untargeted scraping of facial images, will be felt six months after it enters into force.

Prohibited AI Applications:

  • Emotion Recognition: The use of emotion recognition technologies in workplaces and schools is prohibited.
  • Social Scoring: AI systems for social scoring are banned.
  • Predictive Policing: Certain predictive policing practices based solely on profiling individuals are forbidden
  • Law Enforcement Exceptions:
  • Real-Time Facial Recognition: Law enforcement can use real-time facial recognition systems, but only in specific situations. These situations are exhaustively listed and narrowly defined.
  • Post-Facto Use: Post-facto use of facial recognition systems (after an event) is considered high-risk and requires judicial authorization linked to a criminal offense
  • Obligations for High-Risk Systems:
  • High-risk AI systems (such as those used in critical infrastructure, education, and law enforcement) must:
    • Assess and reduce risks.
    • Maintain use logs.
    • Ensure transparency and accuracy.
    • Provide human oversight
    • Transparency and Copyright Compliance:
    • Developers of general-purpose AI systems must meet transparency requirements.
    • They must publish detailed summaries of the content used for training.
    • Compliance with copyright law is mandatory
    • World’s First Binding Law on AI:
    • The AI Act represents the world’s first binding regulation on artificial intelligence.
    • It aims to reduce risks, create opportunities, combat discrimination, and enhance transparency.
    • Protection of Workers and Citizens:
    • Unacceptable AI practices will be banned in Europe.
    • The AI Office will support companies in complying with the rules.


The European Parliament’s Artificial Intelligence Act represents a significant milestone in AI regulation. By categorizing AI systems based on risk, introducing stricter governance for high-risk systems, and emphasizing transparency, Europe aims to protect fundamental rights while fostering innovation. The AI Act’s impact will be felt over the next two years, with provisions to safeguard citizens and ensure responsible AI development.

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