EU establishes new AI office to oversee future regulations

31st May 2024
Harry Fowle

The EU has announced the establishment of a dedicated AI office, created to play a pivotal role in implementing the landmark AI Act.

The AI act, considered one of the most robust and detailed AI regulations worldwide, uses a risk-based approach imposing strict rules on higher-risk AI applications.

The new office aims to promote the "future development, deployment and use" of AI, promoting societal and economic benefits and innovation while reducing risks.

It will play a "key role" in implementing the AI Act, particularly concerning general-purpose AI models, and will support research and innovation in trustworthy AI with the aim to place the EU as a leader in international discussions of the growing technology.

Margerthe Vertager, EU competition chief said the office will assist the EU and ensure a "coherent" implementation of the AI Act.

"Together with developers and a scientific community, the office will evaluate and test general-purpose AI to ensure that AI serves us as humans and upholds our European values."

Sridhar Iyengar, MD for Zoho Europe said: "The establishment of the AI office in the European Commission to play a key role with the implementation of the EU AI Act is a welcome sign of progress, and it is encouraging to see the EU positioning itself as a global leader in AI regulation. We hope to continue to see collaboration between governments, businesses, academics and industry experts to guide on the safe use of AI to boost business growth."

"As AI adoption continues across industries, it presents both benefits and concerns for businesses. However, if businesses follow best practice guidance and stay within the guardrails of the legislation, it can be adopted safely and ethically. Companies should always develop policies which safeguard customer data and train staff accordingly as AI continues to develop at a fast pace. AI can drive innovation in business tools, helping to improve fraud detection, forecasting and customer data analysis to name a few. These benefits not only have the potential to elevate customer experience but can increase efficiency, present insights and suggest actions to drive further success."

The office will employ more than 140 staff members, including technology specialists, administrative assistants, lawyers, policy specialists and economists. and will be composed of units from regulation and compliance to safety and innovation.

Rachael Hays, Transformation Director for Definia, part of The IN Group, comments: "The establishment of a dedicated AI Office within the European Commission underscores the EU's commitment to both innovation and regulation which is undoubtedly crucial in this rapidly evolving AI landscape.

This initiative provides an excellent opportunity for upskilling the workforce. While over half of boardroom leaders, according to our Tech and the Boardroom research, fear AI is the biggest direct threat to their organisation, this initiative directly addresses these fears as employees across various sectors are given the opportunity to adapt and thrive in an AI-driven world. The AI Office offers promising hope and guidance in developing economic benefits while mitigating risks associated with AI technology, something we should all get on board with."

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