AI Act Gets Final Approval From EU Lawmakers

In a first to regulate artificial intelligence (AI), European Union lawmakers on Wednesday gave final approval for the Artificial Intelligence Act and put the ruling on track to take effect later this year.

Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for Internal Market, wrote on X that he welcomes "the overwhelming support from European Parliament for our #AIAct —the world's 1st comprehensive, binding rules for trusted AI. Europe is NOW a global standard-setter in AI. We are regulating as little as possible — but as much as needed!"

The EU typically takes an early lead in the global race toward regulations. In this case to create AI guardrails. The first draft of this document proposed about five years ago, and the first version emerged sometime in 2021. 

The United States will likely follow suite similar to the way it enacted privacy settings on consumer data after the EU created the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that protects the privacy and security of personal data.



In October 2023, U.S. President Joe Biden unveiled an executive order on AI that required safety assessments, equity and civil-rights guidance, and research on the impact of the labor market.

The advertising industry has continued to pour billions of dollars into automating processes from ad serving to bidding and creative advancements for a chance to streamline processes and reshuffle job responsibilities. hose investments has also led to changes in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, pushing up AI-led stocks.

The new EU rules ban certain AI applications that threaten citizens’ rights. These include "biometric categorization systems based on sensitive characteristics and untargeted scraping of facial images from the internet or CCTV footage to create facial recognition databases."

The ruling also bans "emotion recognition in the workplace and schools, social scoring, predictive policing." This is based solely on profiling a person or assessing their characteristics. It also includes AI that manipulates human behavior or exploits people’s vulnerabilities.

There are exceptions for the use of biometric identification systems (RBI) by law enforcement. While it is prohibited in principle, the use is allowed “except in exhaustively listed and narrowly defined situations.” Real-time RBI such as the use of facial recognition cameras can only be deployed if strict safeguards are met.

“We finally have the world’s first binding law on artificial intelligence, to reduce risks, create opportunities, combat discrimination, and bring transparency,” stated the Internal Market Committee co-rapporteur Brando Benifei from Italy.  “Thanks to Parliament, unacceptable AI practices will be banned in Europe and the rights of workers and citizens will be protected.”

The regulation is still subject to a final check by lawyers and linguists, and is expected to be finally adopted before the end of the legislature. The law also needs to be formally endorsed by the Council.


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