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Does EU AI Act include a definition of a general-purpose AI system?

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With the EU AI Act, the definition of a general-purpose AI system is provided within the framework:

‘general purpose AI system’ means an AI system that can be used in and adapted to a wide range of applications for which it was not intentionally and specifically designed; (Article 3)

This definition under the EU AI Act outlines that a general-purpose AI system is one that is capable of operating and adapting in various applications, even those beyond its initial design and intention. This means it’s not restricted to a specific, pre-defined role or function, but can be deployed in multiple scenarios and fulfill different tasks.

However, when considering the different aspects of the AI Act, such as Annex III and various articles (Article 5, Article 28a), the Act does not provide further details or specifications related to general-purpose AI systems. Annex III, which catalogues high-risk AI systems, does not explicitly reference this type of AI system. Additionally, Article 5 focuses on prohibited practices involving AI systems, and Article 28a on providers’ obligations, without particular references to general-purpose systems.

In order to ensure a level playing field and an effective protection of rights and freedoms of individuals across the Union and on international level, the rules established by this Regulation should apply to providers of AI systems in a non-discriminatory manner… (Recital 10)

The recitals, in general, provide an overarching view of the EU AI Act’s purpose and approach. Recital 6d describes the function and characteristics of AI systems but does not specifically reference a definition for general-purpose AI systems. Recital 10 emphasizes the application of the regulation to all AI system providers, illustrating the broad approach to regulation, which could be expected to encompass general-purpose AI systems as well.

In conclusion, general-purpose AI systems are defined directly in Article 3 of the EU AI Act. Given the broad applicability of the AI system under this definition, it can be inferred that the regulatory provisions and standards described throughout the Act would apply to these systems as part of the wider AI landscape, even if they are not always explicitly mentioned.

EU AI Act uploaded as PDF

"The EU AI Act does not explicitly include a definition of a general-purpose AI system. The Act focuses on different categories of AI systems, such as high-risk AI systems and foundation models, and provides specific requirements and obligations for each category. However, it does not provide a specific definition for general-purpose AI systems."


EU AI Act uploaded as PDF

"Yes, the EU AI Act includes a definition of a general-purpose AI system. According to the Act, a general-purpose AI system refers to an AI system that is designed to perform any intellectual task that a human being can do."


"As of my last update in January 2022, the European Commission had proposed an "AI Act" which aimed to regulate AI in the European Union to ensure the technology is used responsibly and safely. The proposal focused particularly on high-risk AI applications, with definitions and criteria to determine what constitutes a "high-risk" AI system.

However, the proposal didn't specifically define a "general-purpose AI system." The AI Act's primary concern was the categorization of AI systems based on their potential risk to fundamental rights and safety. AI systems were broadly categorized into high-risk and low-risk, with specific obligations and requirements for high-risk systems.

That said, the EU legislative process involves multiple stakeholders and iterations, and the content of regulations can evolve over time. It's possible that later versions of the AI Act or other related documents could provide further definitions or clarifications on different categories of AI, including general-purpose AI."

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