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EU’s new AI office ‘milestone’ in regulation
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23 Feb 2024 / technology Print

EU’s new AI office ‘milestone’ in regulation

Lawyers at William Fry say that the establishment of the EU’s new AI Office this week (21 February) marks “a significant milestone” in the EU’s journey towards a harmonised AI regulatory framework.

The office is a new agency within the European Commission that will be responsible for implementing and enforcing the AI Act.

The act, which was politically agreed in December 2023, is expected to be formally signed into law in or around April, according to the William Fry lawyers.

Co-ordination body

In a note on the firm’s website, William Fry says that the new agency will play “a pivotal role” in the enforcement architecture of the AI Act, as it will have exclusive powers to supervise and investigate providers of General Purpose AI (GPAI) models, and to request or impose measures to ensure compliance with EU law.

GPAI models are AI models that can perform multiple tasks across different domains and contexts, such as OpenAI’s GPT-4, which powers ChatGPT.

The William Fry analysis says that the agency should become a central co-ordination body for AI policy at EU level, and co-operate with other commission departments, EU bodies, member states, and other stakeholders.

Evaluating AI models

The firm’s lawyers also highlight the office’s role in keeping “a vigilant eye” on the evolution of AI markets and technologies. This includes developing tools for evaluating AI models, especially those posing systemic risks, and monitoring their implementation and potential infringements.

“More generally, the AI Office should build up knowledge and understanding on AI and foster AI uptake and innovation,” the lawyers state.

“This forward-looking initiative not only reflects the EU’s commitment to leading in AI governance, but also its dedication to securing a future where AI serves the common good, reinforcing the principles of trust and safety that are paramount in the digital age,” the firm’s analysis concludes.

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