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What does the EU’s AI Act mean for UK tech firms?

The EU has approved the Artificial Intelligence Act, the world’s first major regulation aimed at creating safeguards for the rapidly advancing technology. But what does it mean for UK technology businesses?

On Wednesday European lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to pass the EU AI Act, bringing the bloc one step closer to regulating high-impact, general-purpose AI models and high-risk AI systems.

EU nations are expected to formally approve the deal in May this year. Implementation will then be staggered from May 2025 onwards.

The provisional agreement comes after three years of negotiations. During that time, the widespread adoption of generative AI tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Google’s Gemini has increased pressure on governments to establish new rules.

Non-compliance with the EU AI Act can lead to penalties ranging from €7.5m or 1.5% of turnover, or €35m or 7% of global turnover – depending on the type of violation….