EU Establishes 140-Member “AI Office” to Regulate AI Under New Law


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The European Union has announced the formation of a 140-member “AI Office” designed to oversee AI developments and enforce the newly approved AI law, the world’s first risk-based regulatory framework for AI governance. The the so-called artificial intelligence act was announced on 21 May 2024 and is expected to come into force by the end of July.

The AI Office will be comprised of technical experts, lawyers, political scientists, and economists. Its primary goal is to manage AI risk while simultaneously encouraging AI uptake and innovation within the EU. The establishment of this office is seen as a potential model for other countries looking to regulate and govern AI technologies.

Related: OpenAI Establishes Safety Committee

The office will consist of five units, each with a distinct focus: Regulation and Compliance; AI Safety; Excellence in AI and Robotics; AI for Social Good; and AI Innovation and Policy Coordination. One of its immediate tasks is to develop a Code of Conduct for AI developers, which is expected to be launched shortly after the AI law takes effect.

The structure of the office, with three out of five units dedicated to fostering AI innovation and uptake, appears to address concerns from homegrown AI developers who fear that stringent regulations could stifle innovation. However, this balance has sparked a debate on whether the focus on safety and regulatory compliance is sufficient to address the potential risks posed by new AI developments.

The EU’s move to regulate AI is significant as it attempts to balance innovation with safety. The focus on encouraging AI development while managing risks will be closely watched by other countries and could set a global precedent in AI governance.

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