Understanding the New AI Literacy Requirements for Global Businesses: What You Need to Know and How to Prepare

3 min read
July 2, 2024


The What: New Legal Requirements for AI Literacy

As the digital age accelerates, artificial intelligence (AI) continues to transform industries across the globe. However, with great power comes great responsibility, and the European Union is stepping up to ensure that this technological power is harnessed responsibly. Under Article 4 of the newly published AI Act, organizations that use AI systems will soon face a legal obligation to ensure a sufficient level of AI literacy among their staff and other relevant personnel.

This obligation kicks in six months after the publication of the AI Act in the Official Journal, marking a significant shift in how businesses must approach AI deployment and education. Notably, this requirement extends beyond EU borders, affecting any non-EU entities that place AI systems and models on the EU market.

The Why: Rationale Behind AI Literacy Obligations

The introduction of mandatory AI literacy is grounded in the need for informed and responsible use of AI technologies. The AI Act defines AI literacy as the skills, knowledge, and understanding necessary to make informed decisions regarding AI systems. This includes an awareness of both the opportunities and risks associated with AI, as well as the potential harms these systems might cause.

The rationale is clear: as AI systems become more integrated into our daily lives and business operations, ensuring that those who operate and interact with these systems are adequately educated will be crucial for mitigating risks and enhancing the benefits of AI technologies.

Strategy: Developing Effective AI Literacy Programs

For organizations, the strategy to comply with these new regulations should involve several key steps:

  1. Assessment of Current AI Literacy Levels: Organizations need to first assess the current level of AI understanding among their staff, particularly those who interact with or are affected by AI systems. This assessment will help identify the specific training needs.
  2. Tailored Training Programs: Based on the assessment, companies should develop tailored training programs that address the gaps in AI literacy. These programs should be designed considering the technical knowledge, experience, education, and specific roles of the staff involved.
  3. Comprehensive Curriculum: The training curriculum should cover not only the technical aspects of AI but also ethical considerations and societal impacts. This holistic approach will ensure that employees are not only skilled but also responsible in their use of AI technologies.
  4. Continuous Education and Updates: AI is a rapidly evolving field. As such, AI literacy programs should not be a one-time event but an ongoing process that includes regular updates and refresher courses to keep pace with technological advancements.

Recommendations: Ensuring Compliance and Leveraging Opportunities

  1. Start Early: With the six-month deadline, organizations should start planning and implementing their AI literacy programs as soon as possible to ensure full compliance by the time the regulations take effect.
  2. Leverage Expertise: Consider partnering with educational institutions or specialized training providers who can offer expert insights and resources for developing effective AI training programs.
  3. Monitor Regulatory Updates: Keep abreast of any updates or clarifications provided by EU regulatory bodies regarding the AI Act and AI literacy requirements to ensure your training programs remain compliant.
  4. Foster a Culture of Learning: Encourage a culture of continuous learning and curiosity about AI within your organization. This will not only help in meeting legal obligations but also in driving innovation and competitive advantage.


While the new AI literacy requirements may pose challenges, they also present an opportunity for organizations to better understand and leverage AI technologies. Work with a partner that understanding AI, can help your organization deliver on an internal framework for usage and development of AI, and can help build an effective Center of Excellence within your organization around exploration, implementation, and ongoing literacy. By proactively developing comprehensive AI literacy programs and collaborating with the right partner, businesses can ensure compliance, mitigate risks, and empower their teams to harness the full potential of AI innovations responsibly. As the countdown to compliance begins, the time to act is now—prepare your teams for the future of AI.

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