The Impact of the EU AI Act on General Purpose AI

The Impact of the EU AI Act on General Purpose AI

The Impact of the EU AI Act on General Purpose AI

October 01, 2023

October 01, 2023

October 01, 2023

As the arena of artificial intelligence (AI) swiftly evolves, general-purpose AI systems, also known as foundation models, are now at the forefront of revolutionary change. These unique systems, equipped with scalability and the ability to implement transfer learning, showcase a myriad of applications across various industries. Amidst these dynamic transformations, the European Union (EU) has proposed the AI Act, intending to govern AI technologies across the region, marking a substantial legislative transition within the AI territory. This blog post explores the nuanced nature of general-purpose AI and determines the potential impacts of the EU's AI Act on it.

Understanding General Purpose AI

General-purpose AI systems are incredibly versatile, thanks to their immense memory capacity, advanced data handling capabilities, and powerful hardware integration. They have remarkable scalability and rely heavily on transfer learning to apply acquired knowledge from one task to another. One standout feature of these AI systems is their capacity to be foundation models, pretrained and then fine-tuned to become distinct, specialised AI systems such as chatbots, advertisement generators, decision assistants, and much more.

Moreover, these general-purpose systems are not only confined to language models but are employed effectively across diverse fields like healthcare, finance, and life sciences, demonstrating wide-ranging capabilities and potential.

Implications of the EU AI Act

With the rapid development of AI technologies, the EU has stepped forward to create an extensive legal framework – the AI Act. This sweeping regulation aims to foster innovation, ensure safety, and protect fundamental rights whilst also providing legal clarity within the AI industry.

Impact of EU AI Act on General Purpose AI

The EU AI Act has considerable implications for general-purpose AI, given its wide-ranging applications and potential influence on society. Firstly, by setting out a defined stratification of AI systems based on risk - unacceptable risk, high-risk, limited risk, and minimal risk, it provides comprehensive guidelines for AI deployment.

Given their broad applicability and possible unintended usage, general-purpose AI systems could potentially be categorised as high-risk. Consequently, these systems may face stringent compliance requirements spanning quality control, technical documentation, transparency, and user information.

Secondly, the Act's emphasis on informing users about AI systems' capabilities, purposes, and limitations could necessitate increased transparency in AI applications, significantly affecting general-purpose AI deployment.

Lastly, with stringent non-compliance measures in place, including hefty fines, the EU AI Act could both temper the pace of AI development and simultaneously instill a higher standard of responsible, accountable AI practice, applicable to general-purpose AI systems as well.

The Road Ahead

The EU AI Act is increasingly setting the stage for how tech regulations might be framed globally by offering a comprehensive blueprint for AI governance. It could introduce increased scrutiny and responsibility in the development and deployment of general-purpose AI systems but also foster enhanced trust in AI technology.

The journey ahead promises to redraw the contours of technology and policy regulation, emphasising responsible AI creation and use. As general-purpose AI continues to develop and the EU AI Act potentially shapes global tech regulation, we stand on the edge of a transformative era, with new technological landscapes just on the horizon.