EU lawmakers approved earlier today the world’s first set of AI (artificial intelligence) rules aimed at reducing risks, boosting innovation, combating discrimination, and ensuring transparency.

The “Artificial Intelligence Act”, which was endorsed with 523 votes in favor, 46 against, and 49 abstentions, categorizes AI systems based on risk level: unacceptable, high, limited, and minimal risk.

It aims among others to address risks created by AI applications, ban AI practices that pose unacceptable risks and list high-risk applications.

The EU AI Act is scheduled to go into effect in May after European Council approval and will be fully applicable 24 months after its entry into force.

The move is the first globally to set clear ground rules for AI which has hit the world by storm.

“I welcome the overwhelming support from European Parliament for our AI Act – the world’s 1st comprehensive, binding rules for trusted AI. Europe is now a global standard-setter in AI. We are regulating as little as possible – but as much as needed,” said EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton on his X (former twitter) account.

“Unacceptable AI practices will be banned in Europe and the rights of workers and citizens will be protected,” said Internal Market Committee Co-rapporteur Brando Benifei, adding that an AI Office will be set up to support companies towards complying with the regulations before they enter into force.