Updated Dec 8, 2023 - Technology

EU reaches landmark deal on world’s first comprehensive AI regulation

Illustration of the EU flag with binary code instead of stars. 

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

European Union policymakers agreed Friday on a comprehensive regulation for artificial intelligence, the AI Act.

Why it matters: This makes the EU the first governing body to pass AI legislation of the sort.

The big picture: "European policymakers focused on A.I.'s riskiest uses by companies and governments, including those for law enforcement and the operation of crucial services like water and energy," according to the New York Times.

  • Makers of large AI systems, like OpenAI and others, will face transparency requirements, and systems creating manipulated media would have to make this clear to users.
  • Facial recognition by law enforcement will be highly restricted, and companies violating rules could face up to 7% of global sales in fines.

Yes, but: The new law still needs to be approved by the European Parliament, though that will be a formality.

  • Lawmakers still need to work out some of the details of the new law.
  • The rules also won't take effect until 2025 at the earliest, leaving room for a lot of technological evolution until then.

What they're saying: "Historic! The EU becomes the very first continent to set clear rules for the use of AI 🇪🇺 The #AIAct is much more than a rulebook — it's a launchpad for EU startups and researchers to lead the global AI race. The best is yet to come! 👍," European Commissioner Thierry Breton posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Go deeper: Next up for AI in the EU: Liability

Go deeper