Global Trends in AI Governance and Regulation

As we venture into 2024, the realm of Artificial Intelligence (AI) governance is witnessing a kaleidoscope of transformative developments worldwide. This dynamic landscape is marked by a confluence of regional initiatives, ground-breaking legislation, and global dialogues aimed at shaping the future of AI in a manner that is ethical, responsible, and aligned with human values. From the European Union’s pioneering strides in AI legislation to the United States’ focus on national security and sustainable development, each region is contributing its unique perspective and approach to AI governance.

This post delves into the latest global developments in AI governance, providing a comprehensive overview of the initiatives, regulations, and strategies being employed by key players around the world. We will explore the EU’s AI Act and its impact on setting global standards, the US’s executive orders and their implications for AI safety, the UK’s efforts in establishing AI standards, China’s evolving AI regulation landscape, and the collaborative efforts of international bodies like the WHO in guiding AI ethics and governance.

The European Union’s Pioneering Steps

In 2024, the European Union (EU) continues to lead in AI governance with the implementation of the AI Act. This groundbreaking legislation focuses on risk assessment, transparency, and accountability in AI, potentially setting a global standard akin to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The AI Act categorises AI systems based on risk levels—unacceptable, high, limited, and minimal—and imposes strict requirements for high-risk AI systems, including rigorous testing, documentation, and transparency measures. The AI Liability Directive, another significant piece of legislation in the pipeline, aims to establish financial compensation for those harmed by AI technologies. This proactive approach showcases the EU’s commitment to balancing innovation with ethical AI practices​​​​.

The United States: A Divergent Path

Contrastingly, the United States has adopted a less stringent regulatory approach. A notable development is the executive order released in October 2022, focusing on national security, protection of critical infrastructure, cybersecurity, and weapons proliferation in AI. The order also emphasises sustainable development goals, particularly in climate change and labor market impacts. The US AI Safety Institute, formed as a result of these policies, plays a key role in shaping the nation’s AI landscape. The Institute’s mandate includes developing standards for AI safety, conducting research on AI impacts, and providing guidance on best practices for AI development and deployment​​.

United Kingdom: Standards and Strategy

The UK has made strides in AI governance through the release of British Standard BS ISO/IEC 42001:2023. This standard guides organisations in the responsible use of AI, addressing issues like non-transparent automated decision-making and machine learning preferences. Referenced in the UK’s National AI Strategy, this standard is a crucial step towards ethical AI usage. The National AI Strategy outlines the UK’s approach to becoming a global leader in AI by promoting innovation while ensuring ethical standards are maintained​​.

China: A Fragmented Yet Responsive Approach

In China, AI regulation has been more piecemeal, addressing specific AI products as they gain prominence. However, plans for a comprehensive AI law, analogous to the EU’s AI Act, have been announced, aiming for a more holistic governance approach. This shift indicates a move towards addressing broader risks and opportunities presented by AI. China’s approach reflects its rapid AI advancements and the need to integrate AI safety and ethics into its burgeoning tech sector​​​​.

Global Initiatives and Collaborations

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released guidance on the ethics and governance of large multi-modal models (LMMs) in AI, particularly in healthcare. This guidance includes over 40 recommendations, reflecting a growing need for international consensus on AI governance. The AI Governance Global event in Brussels highlighted the need for practical solutions in AI system implementation, discussing topics like mitigating bias and the risks of generative AI. The AI Governance Alliance emphasises inclusive access to advanced AI, calling for collaborative efforts in responsible AI development and deployment​​​​.

Regional Developments

  • Australia is considering mandatory safety guidelines for AI in high-risk settings, highlighting the global trend towards stricter AI regulation.
  • Denmark’s Danish Digital Agency released a guide for the responsible use of generative AI, offering practical recommendations for organisations.
  • Singapore proposed a framework for trusted generative AI development, focusing on explainability, transparency, and fairness. This initiative aims to facilitate international dialogue and consensus-building in AI governance​​​​.


As we progress through 2024, the landscape of AI governance continues to evolve, with major players like the EU, US, China, and the UK shaping policies that influence global standards. The focus remains on finding a balance between fostering innovation and ensuring ethical, transparent AI practices. With various regions and international bodies contributing to this discourse, a diverse yet unified approach towards AI governance is emerging. This global effort aims to harness the benefits of AI while safeguarding against its potential risks, ensuring that technological advancements contribute positively to society.