The European Union Parliament is planning new regulations for AI, but with the government's tendency toward censorship and excessive control, it’s unclear whether that’s good or bad news.
Financial Times reported April 14 that the European Union (EU) is moving toward “enacting the world’s most restrictive regime on the development of AI.” While AI’s fast pace is raising legitimate worries and calls to pullback, it remains to be seen whether the EU and its proposed Artificial Intelligence Act are a solution or an exacerbation of the problems AI causes.
Twelve EU lawmakers signed an open letter posted April 17 entitled, “A call to action on very powerful AI from the European Parliament.” The letter called for specific action from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and U.S. President Joe Biden, particularly calling for a “high-level global Summit on Artificial Intelligence.” The EU lawmakers’ desire for Biden’s help is concerning considering the president’s history of vocally supporting censorship and his administration’s tech-government censorship collusion policies. EU leaders have also pushed pro-censorship legislation before.
The legislation as proposed would include measures to force chatbot developers to disclose whether or not they use copyrighted material. Financial Times added that Members of the European Parliament “want responsibility for misuse of AI programmes to lie with developers such as OpenAI, rather than smaller businesses using it.” It would also entirely ban using facial recognition “in public spaces.” Financial Times noted that the latter proposal is likely to prove “contentious” among EU member states.
EU regulations of AI have been in the works for two years, Financial Times reported. After the initial phase, the Members of European Parliament, the European Commission, and EU member states have to draft the final legislation together. The outlet noted that the EU Parliament seeks to pass an AI bill before the term ends in 2024.
The open letter stated that the AI Act is meant to be “a set of rules specifically tailored to foundation models, with the goal of steering the development of very powerful artificial intelligence in a direction that is human-centric, safe, and trustworthy.”
It remains to be seen if that’s what the AI Act will do.
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