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  • Writer's pictureBella Callaway

Introducing the European AI Office: A Milestone in AI Governance

On January 24th, 2024, the European Commission announced that, following the political agreement on the EU AI Act in December there is to be a new wave of measures introduced to help govern the ever-changing, rapid evolution of Artificial Intelligence. The EU aims to ensure that AI is ‘safe and trustworthy’. In order to achieve this, the AI Act was agreed by the EC as the first ever comprehensive legal framework on AI in the world, promising to guarantee the health, safety, and fundamental rights of citizens and providing legal certainty to businesses across all Member States.

 

The Commission announced their intention to proceed with a package of measures named the ‘AI Innovation Strategy’ which will support AI start-ups and SMEs. This could have a significant impact on the native European AI market and potentially improve the EUs position in the global AI market. 



AI Generated Image via DeepAI

 

Additionally, the Commission has also revealed the establishment of the European AI Office which will support the implementation and enforcement of the AI Act in collaboration with the Commission and EU Member States’ national competent authorities. It is to have a supporting role in the preparation of secondary legislation that implements the AI Act, the uniform application of the regulation amongst many other responsibilities. The creation of the AI Office is not designed to impose upon the authority of national bodies or agencies of the EU involved in overseeing AI systems. Instead, the aim is to complement existing frameworks, enhancing collaboration and coherence in the regulation and supervision of AI technologies.

 

It has been a week since the formal operations of the Office began as it opened on February 21st, 2024. The EU AI Office is a centralised EU agency within the European Commission. This Office is a pivotal moment for global AI governance as it is the first of its kind in a multinational organisation such as the EU. It represents a positive, proactive step towards fostering responsible, hands-on development of AI across the European Union.

 

In the forthcoming era of AI regulation, of which Europe is set to be a pioneer, collaboration and dialogue will be instrumental in navigating the complexities and realising the full potential of AI technologies. The EU AI Act and AI Office mark a significant development towards safer, better regulated AI which can help shape a future where AI empowers, enriches, and enhances the lives of citizens around the globe.

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