12 Dec 2023

The AI Act-ually Happening

Some strengths, some weaknesses and 3 key implications for businesses seeking to adopt artificial intelligence, now the EU has finalised The AI Act.

Let the regulatory driven transformation commence. 

Words by
Alex Carruthers
AI On Strings

Let the regulatory driven transformation commence.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn: The AI Act-ually Happening | LinkedIn


The EU has approved ‘The AI Act’, the draft of which was finalised in June this year. (We originally wrote about the draft release here.)


As you probably know, it categorises AI risk based on impact, where:

  • some use cases are banned (good for national security, ethical concerns, and privacy),
  • others remain largely unregulated (good for innovation and widespread AI adoption of harmless applications)
  • and some are subject to intense scrutiny.


Much of the regulation comes down to ‘Human Centricity’ – protecting human rights and prioritising an understanding of the impact AI models will have in its deployed context.

  • Predicting stock inventory levels – GOOD.
  • Manipulating elections – BAD.
  • Optimising learning journeys – GOOD.
  • Social credit scoring systems – BAD.


It’s sensible.

A lot of it also boils down to understanding why AI decisions/reasoning is happening.

  • The development and operational management of AI systems need to be transparent.
  • AI models need to be bias free, and robustness (reliability, resilience, security) must be built in.
  • Human oversight is legally required, therefore the processes to enable sufficient human oversight – explainability, accountability – are obviously necessary.


And so on, this is all good stuff.

These are widely considered to be traits of best practice AI, anyway.

First Step

An Imperfect First Step

Any first regulatory step was surely going to be imperfect, but it’s a starting point.

In a sentence:-

Systems need to be regulated because system builders won’t all act to the benefit of society.

There needs to be an external force to impose public protections.

We’ve seen some commentators bemoan the restriction to innovation – yes it will be a friction point to adoption. Some businesses will back away from AI because they can’t create the governance processes.

Organisations will need watertight Governance – frameworks for ethics and compliance for AI models.

We might expect an increase in AI outsourcing. We are certain to see a huge demand fort consultancy services to help organisations understand the law in relation to their specific use cases and guide their transformation.

Just as we saw in the explosion of companies conceived to cater to GDPR.

Some will err or the side of caution. It’s likely that many organisations will sit tight, waiting for other organisations to move first. Waiting to read the headlines about an organisation losing up to 7% of annual global turnover for making a foul move.

Naturally, this will cause feet to be dragged, where innovation is concerned.

Surely this is better than two feet jumping blindly in, no?

Whether you believe the existential-level threat of AI, or only the banal but pragmatic concerns of AI, a degree of reservation is probably a good idea.


There’s also a strong argument to be made that clarity will unlock innovation.

Clear regulation, however imperfect, is still preferable to uncertain regulation, which developers in other countries will continue to experience.

Now the lines are drawn in the sand, businesses operating in the EU know well what they should and shouldn’t do.

Ai Bureaucracy

EU Law, A Global Act

Nevertheless, just because this is an EU act doesn’t mean it will only impact EU businesses.

The bar has been set!

Global corporations tend to prefer uniform processes across their various markets. Often, there’s a global model and minimal tweaks are made to fit the territory.

For example, EU-wide firms will know that employee protection rights in Germany are much higher than those in other EU countries.

  • Corporations of a certain size must have a 'works council' (a Betriebsrat), which is an elected body of employees that represents the interests of the employees in the company.
  • The works council has the right to be consulted in decision-making processes that affect the employees – and can vote against actions.
  • Businesses will tend to hold back on rolling out new initiatives across their other European offices until the Betriebsrat gives the green light.


We will see the same thing with The AI Act: organisations will build to the highest standards for the clean distribution of AI services.

The surge in hype for ‘Interpretable’, ‘Explainable’ and ‘Auditable, will continue.

Who are Advai?

Advai is a deep tech AI start-up based in the UK that has spent several years working with UK government and defence to understand and develop tooling for testing and validating AI in a manner that allows for KPIs to be derived throughout its lifecycle that allows data scientists, engineers, and decision makers to be able to quantify risks and deploy AI in a safe, responsible, and trustworthy manner.

If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please reach out to contact@advai.co.uk

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