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It’s a Wild West out there for artificial intelligence. AI applications are increasingly used to make important decisions about humans’ lives with little to no oversight or accountability. This can have devastating consequences: wrongful arrests, incorrect grades for students, and even financial ruin. Women, marginalized groups, and people of color often bear the brunt of AI’s propensity for error and overreach. 

The European Union thinks it has a solution: the mother of all AI laws, called the AI Act. It is the first law that aims to curb these harms by regulating the whole sector. If the EU succeeds, it could set a new global standard for AI oversight around the world.

But the world of EU legislation can be complicated and opaque. Here’s a quick guide to everything you need to know about the EU’s AI Act. The bill is currently being amended by members of the European Parliament and EU countries. 

What’s the big deal?

The AI Act is hugely ambitious. It would require extra checks for “high risk” uses of AI that have the most... see more