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EU lawmakers pass draft of AI Act, includes last-minute change on generative AI models

Bynewsmagzines

Apr 27, 2023
EU lawmakers pass draft of AI Act, includes last-minute change on generative AI models


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After months of negotiations and two years after a draft rules were proposed, EU lawmakers have reached an agreement and passed a draft of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act, which would be the first set of comprehensive laws related to AI regulation. The next stage is called the trilogue, when EU lawmakers and member states will negotiate the final details of the bill.

According to a report, the members of the European Parliament (MEPs) confirmed previous proposals to put stricter obligations on foundation models, a sub-category of ‘General Purpose AI’ that includes tools such as ChatGPT. Under the proposals, companies that make generative AI tools such as ChatGPT would have to disclose if they have used copyrighted material in their systems.

The report cited one significant last-minute change in the draft of the AI Act related to generative AI models, which “would have to be designed and developed in accordance with EU law and fundamental rights, including freedom of expression.”

“The AI Act offers EU lawmakers an opportunity to put an end to the use of discriminatory and rights-violating artificial intelligence (AI) systems,” said Mher Hakobyan, advocacy advisor on artificial intelligence regulation at Amnesty International, in a blog post. 

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The government AI regulation many have been waiting for

While  a variety of state-based AI-related bills have been passed in the US, it is larger government regulation — in the form of the EU AI Act — that many in the AI and the legal community have been waiting for.

Back in December, Avi Gesser, partner at Debevoise & Plimpton and co-chair of the firm’s Cybersecurity, Privacy and Artificial Intelligence Practice Group, told VentureBeat that the AI Act is attempting to put together a risk-based regime to address the highest-risk outcomes of artificial intelligence — while striking a balance so the laws do not clamp down on innovation.

“It’s about recognizing that there are going to be some low-risk use cases that don’t require a heavy burden of regulation,” he said. As with the privacy-focused GDPR, he explained, the EU AI Act will be an example of a comprehensive European law coming into effect and slowly trickling into various state and sector-specific laws in the U.S.

Yesterday, the National Law Review wrote that “The AI Act will have a global impact, as it will apply to organizations providing or using AI systems in the EU; and providers or users of AI systems located in a third country (including the UK and US), if the output produced by those AI systems is used in the EU.”

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