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The EU AI Act: A Quick Primer for Businesses

Authored by nasscom

Provided inputs by Vibhav Mithal


On May 21, 2024, the Council of the European Union (EU) approved the EU Artificial Intelligence Act (hereafter referred to as "the Act"), following the European Parliament's earlier approval on March 13, 2024, with a vote of 523 in favor, 46 against, and 49 abstentions. The text of the approved version is available here. The Act will come into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.


The Act will become fully applicable 24 months after its entry into force, although some provisions will require compliance sooner. Due to the Act's extraterritorial reach, businesses worldwide, including those in India, that "provide" or "deploy" "AI systems" or "general-purpose AI (GPAI) models" in the EU market will be subject to its provisions, except when such activities are for defense, military, or national security purposes.


Similar to the impact of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on global privacy standards since 2018, the AI Act is expected to establish a worldwide benchmark for AI trust and safety for both businesses and regulators. Consequently, businesses must use the grace period provided by the Act to enhance their compliance measures, ensuring they can effectively compete and maintain their presence in the EU and other markets.




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