The European Union has agreed on new policies for artificial intelligence called the ‘AI Act,’ setting new benchmarks for the technology.
The law still has a few hurdles before final approval, but the key outlines for the technology are now set. EU policymakers focused on the riskiest aspects of artificial intelligence use by governments and companies, including use in critical services like law enforcement and utilities like water and energy. The regulations would also include transparency requirements for AI chatbots and other software capable of creating manipulated images.
While the law has been hailed as a regulatory breakthrough, questions remain about how effective it will be in legislating AI. The policy is not expected to take effect for 12 to 24 months, which is a significant development time in the world of AI. Meanwhile, music industry bodies are cautiously optimistic about the new laws.
“The trilogue agreement for this important, first-of-its-kind legislation provides a constructive and encouraging framework,” says the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). “AI offers creators both opportunities and risks, and we believe there is a path to a mutually successful outcome for both the creative and technology communities. Success requires guardrails—public policies that enable and require responsible AI.”
“While technical details are not yet finalized, this agreement makes clear that essential principles—such as meaningful transparency obligations and respect of EU copyright standards for any GPAI model that operates in the internal market—must be fully reflected in the final legislation and its concrete application if we are to achieve our mutual goals.”
Dr. Tobias Holzmüller, GEMA CEO, also offered praise for the European AI Act. GEMA is a German society for musical performing and mechanical production rights. “We welcome the progress made during the negotiations on the AI Act,” Holzmüller says. “Those intending to offer generative AI in Europe must be able to explain what contents they used to train it.”
“The results we have now on the table are a step in the right direction but need to be sharpened further on a technical level. The outcome must be a clearly formulated transparency regime that obliges AI providers to submit detailed evidence on the contents they used to train their systems, just like other major legal systems such as the US managed to implement. GEMA is going to continue working toward this.”
Enforcement for the new AI Act remains unclear, however. It will involve regulators across 27 nations and will requiring new experts. There is the possibility of many legal challenges as companies test this new law in court.