by Laura Fannin , Denise O’Shaughnessy May-24-2024 in Advertising and Marketing Law, Commercial & Business, Data Protection, Product Liability

On 21 May 2024, the Council of the European Union approved the EU Artificial Intelligence Act (“AI Act”). This final approval follows the European Parliament’s endorsement in March.

You can read our prior commentary here.

The AI Act will likely now be published in the EU Official Journal in the coming days. The AI Act will enter into force 20 days after publication in the EU Official Journal, which will likely be in June of this year.

There are several staggered deadlines that will govern when certain provisions of the AI Act take effect. In general, however, the AI Act provides for a 24-month implementation period during which the delegated guidance, standards and codes will be made available to assist those impacted in complying with the AI Act. The AI Act adopts a risk-based approach to AI regulation, categorising AI systems into different risk levels. AI systems that fall into the prohibited risk category will be banned six months after enactment of the AI Act, which will most likely be by the end of 2024. Prohibited AI systems are those that violate fundamental rights, such as social scoring or emotion recognition in the workplace. The vast majority of the provisions or obligations referenced in the AI Act are otherwise enforceable 24 months after enactment.

While waiting for the AI Act to become fully applicable, organisations using or planning to use AI systems should start considering their use and assessing their compliance with the AI Act. Organisations should review agreements with their AI providers, introduce an AI policy, particularly relative to generative AI, train their staff appropriately, document all relevant considerations and maintain adequate records surrounding the introduction and use of AI in their organisation.

If you have any queries about the implementation of the AI Act or are considering putting an AI policy in place, please contact Laura Fannin or Denise O’Shaughnessy.

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