AI ACT: a unique measure with impacts that remain unclear

  Articoli (Articles)
  Tiziano Sini
  25 May 2024
  2 minutes, 38 seconds

Translated by Giulia Maffeis

It has recently been reported that the AI Act, the controversial law that for the first time provides regulation for Artificial Intelligence, has been approved.

Following a long debate, the green light came through a vote by the European Council, after the Parliament's approval on March 13th, which marks the introduction of a unique legislative event.

However, the measure will have long implementation times, since it will come into force progressively over the next two years; only the bans and controls will deviate from this timeline, becoming valid in the upcoming months. [1].

One thing is, however, for certain: the EU is once again a pioneer in introducing new global standards in the technology industry, following what was done with the GDPR legislation.[2].

In this case, as well, the initiative gaining significant importance, having an impact on various sectors of the economy and society, starting with energy, the medical field, and industrial-production areas. For this reason, the logic that must guide its application should include a flexible regulatory framework, capable of adapting to future discoveries and applications of AI, with the clear objective of maintaining cornerstones such as fundamental rights, safety, and ethics.

One particular error that should be avoided is imposing overly stringent limits and burdens on operators and companies that work with AI systems daily. These excessive regulations face the risk of going beyond necessary oversight and becoming a significant economic obstacle.

From this perspective, the most important concern could be the implementation of excessively stringent measures on SMEs and startups, which could greatly benefit from AI development.

Additionally, another crucial objective for European institutions is to offer not only resources but also tangible support to operators, to let them comply and implement what is required as effectively as possible.

Europe should therefore develop,  as well as the previous regulation, a clear framework of goals (KPIs) to achieve, which can help everyone measure the real impact of the legislative choices made by the European Parliament on the economy and society.[3].

Concerning the impacts the regulation will have, particularly on the economy,  multiple studies and estimates have emerged from independent authorities and consulting firms, with the goal of better interpreting future scenarios.

One of the most interesting was proposed by Intellera, which reviewed the estimates related to expenses, predicting various activities ranging from understanding new procedures to data acquisition and processing, from administrative procedures to external auditing.

While following the parameters proposed by the Commission, the expected costs would amount to about 17.3% of SMEs' turnover, Intellera Consulting believes they could instead be around 1.3% of the average turnover of these companies. [4].

These are, as we can see, only estimates, even though it's clear that costs and benefits will be an essential theme in the upcoming years, greatly influencing the debate and future applications.

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Tiziano Sini


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