Ai-Generated Training Image by Alexandra_Koch from PixabayVinciWorks, a leading compliance eLearning supplier has published findings from a survey that looks at the readiness of businesses for the upcoming EU Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act. The Act has been agreed by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. It is in the translation process. Once it is published in the Official Journal it will start coming into force 20 days later. This is likely to happen between May and July 2024. Some specific provisions will apply within six months (specifically around the banned use of AI), while the rules on general-purpose AIs will apply within 12 months.

Why is this new law important? The EU states, “The aim of the new rules is to foster trustworthy AI in Europe and beyond, by ensuring that AI systems respect fundamental rights, safety, and ethical principles and by addressing risks of very powerful and impactful AI models.”

The penalties for non-compliance are huge, with the lessons learnt from data protection. Fines will range from €7.5 million or 1.5% of global turnover to €35 million or 7% of global turnover. These are a level of fines that organisations cannot ignore.

Despite its imminent arrival, coupled with the huge investments being made into AI, the survey found that only 2% of large organisations fully understand the Act and its implications. A survey in Ireland by IOD Ireland had a similar finding, with 75% of directors and senior executives unaware of the extensive scope of the Act. Another more specific survey about pharma companies published in February by The Pistoia Alliance found that only 9% of respondents said they know EU and US AI regulations well, with more than a third (35%) having no understanding at all.


The general lack of awareness of what the Act means is concerning. Overall, 27% of compliance professionals polled had never heard of the EU AI Act. That number rose to 30% for small firms. In the UK, the issue was slightly higher, with 29% unaware of the Act before the survey came out. Outside the UK, only 24% were unaware. VinciWorks did not separate EU members from non-EU members in the available findings.

The survey did not ask whether the respondents were aware of the Artificial Intelligence (Regulation) Bill, a private members bill sponsored by Lord Holmes of Richmond (Con), which will have its second reading in the Lords later this month. However, it is still in its early stages.

With the lack of awareness, it is little surprise that few have received training around AI. 85% have received no training in AI.


Despite the lack of awareness of the specific regulations, businesses are aware that regulations are on the roadmap. Organisations are concerned with 38% feel they are not prepared and 27% are concerned by the lack of regulatory understanding.

These figures only vary slightly between UK and non-UK organisations.

  • Not prepared for the regulations (UK 35%, non-UK (45%)
  • Misunderstanding the regulations (UK 26%, non-UK (28%)

However, different sized organisations have different top concerns:

  • Large enterprises (50%) are most concerned about not being fully prepared
  • Medium-sized companies (36%) are most concerned about understanding the regulations
  • Small companies (38%) are most uncertain about their applicability under the Act

The solution – Training

VinciWorks already offers several training courses around AI and is also offering access to a guide titled Understanding the AI Act (Registration required). Most programs do not have a program for such training. 81% of organisations have not yet implemented training around AI. Worryingly, 12% of organisations polled in the UK have no plans for training, though it is unclear what percentage of these were small businesses.

There is no doubt that training is the first step to understanding the new regulations. With regulations emerging globally, organisations must ensure that they do not fall foul of them. VinciWorks currently offers at least seven courses on Artificial Intelligence within its portfolio of compliance courses. They include:

Nick Henderson-Mayo, Director of Learning and Content at VinciWorks, (image credit - LinkedIn)
Nick Henderson-Mayo, Director of Learning and Content at VinciWorks

Nick Henderson-Mayo, Director of Learning and Content at VinciWorks, commented, “The EU AI Act marks a turning point in the global conversation on responsible AI. Artificial Intelligence has infected so many standard tools we use every day, from email servers to word processors. Everyone needs to get ahead of the AI revolution before AI runs ahead of them,” said

“Ignoring the Act, regardless of company size and stature, could lead to serious financial and reputational consequences and erode consumer trust. Just like the internet revolution, which brought everyone online, no business can hide from AI. Now is the time to get prepared for both the technological transition and the regulatory reaction.”

Enterprise Times: What does this mean

Regulations for AI are coming into force over the next few months and years worldwide. Organisations must be prepared for them if they are implementing AI solutions, either internally developed or third-party applications.

It will be critical for business leaders and non-executives to have an understanding of the implications of the regulations and ensure that the right guardrails are in place within organisations. Creating AI applications is not just about what is created. It is also about how people use or can potentially abuse the solutions.

VinciWorks is at the leading stage of providing the appropriate training courses for organisations in this new world where AI will be pervasive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here