EU AI Act Imminent: Australian IT Professionals Urged to Prepare for AI Regulation

The most recent leak of the European Union’s AI Act, which is likely the final version, has sparked discussions on its potential impact on global AI regulations. Historically, when the EU regulates something, the rest of the world tends to follow suit. An example of this is the GDPR, which led companies doing business in Australia to become GDPR-compliant. Similarly, Australian businesses are advised to comply with the EU AI Act to maintain partnerships and scale their operations in the EU market. Although Australia currently lacks mandatory regulations governing AI use, Australian IT professionals should closely monitor the EU AI regulation as it is likely to become the global standard in the absence of local regulation. Complying with the EU AI regulations can benefit Australian businesses by preparing them for future local regulations and ensuring they are ready and compliant with international standards. It is essential for Australian organizations to understand the five key areas that the EU laws will regulate, such as risk classification, obligations for high-risk AI systems, ban on certain AI uses, notification and labeling system, and governance structure. While most consumer-facing businesses will have lighter regulatory requirements, organizations must ensure compliance to avoid limitations on doing business in Europe and potential conflicts with EU partners. Complying with the EU AI Act will enable Australian organizations to seize business opportunities and remain competitive in both local and global markets.

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