An introduction to the AI Act: what you need to know

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Whether you’re an organisation using AI-driven chatbots for customer enquiries, developing predictive algorithms for credit risk, or image recognition software for security purposes, the upcoming legal obligations of deploying certain artificial intelligence (AI) technologies under the EU’s landmark AI Act may severely impact your data handling practices.

A team of experts in data protection services and AI governance have penned the following article to help businesses understand the requirements of the AI Act, as well as what will be required of your organisation in order to achieve compliance.

What is the AI Act?

The AI Act establishes a regulatory and legal framework for the deployment, development and use of AI systems within the EU. The legislation takes a risk-based approach, categorising AI systems according to their potential impact on safety, human rights and societal well-being. Some systems are banned entirely, while systems deemed ‘high-risk’ are subject to stricter requirements and assessments before deployment.

AI systems are categorised into different risk levels based on their potential impact, with the burden of compliance increasing proportionate to the risk. The three main categories are prohibited, high risk and low risk.

Prohibited systems are banned entirely, due to the unacceptable potential for negative consequences. High

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