Yesterday, May 10, Google I/O 2023 keynote saw a surprise move being made. More than half of the entire event was around how Google is planning to bring artificial intelligence to its various products and services. And Google is not alone. Many major businesses are heavily investing in AI technology to bring it to the forefront of their offerings, and it can be concerning because, with all the progress, the regulatory framework, or the rules around the issue, has taken a back seat. But European Union has different plans as it has already begun drafting an ambitious Artificial Intelligence Act, which could be the first of its kind.
How things changed
The draft was initially written two years ago, but the technology has moved in a different direction and the 108-page long draft falls short on several accounts. For instance, the entire draft only mentions chatbots once, something which has become a prominent pillar of AI technology. References to AI-generated content largely referred to deepfakes —images or audio designed to impersonate human beings.
A need to draft a better and more encompassing regulation was felt by the EU and after some discussions, 12 Members of the European Parliament (MEP) have begun working on a legislation around this technology.
Why is there a need to regulate AI?
Ever since AI models appeared, many questions have been raised around responsible usage, data privacy, potential loss of jobs, issues around misinformation and bias, impact on academics and so on. Some, including the Godfather of AI, Geoffrey Hinton, has even claimed that an AI which constantly learns from large datasets will soon reach superintelligence, for which humans are not prepared.
Recently, Italy banned ChatGPT briefly over how it uses the data it collects from users and whether there users can choose not to share the data or if the company can assure the security of the collected data. OpenAI worked on the concerns and was allowed back in Italy after two weeks.
These issues have accelerated the need to develop a regulatory framework that not only understands how the AI works, but also how it can be kept in check.
What will the AI regulatory framework by the EU entail
As per the existing act, AI has been defined as “software that is developed with one or more of the techniques that can, for a given set of human-defined objectives, generate outputs such as content, predictions, recommendations, or decisions influencing the environments they interact with”. The primary task of the framework is to classify different AI tech on the basis of the risk its poses to the “health and safety or fundamental rights” of an individual.
The existing act goes in length to prohibit the usage of AI technology that is placed on the higher end of risks, such as deep fakes. The current version, however, is expected to be much more comprehensive and will provide a guideline around usage of chatbots, age-related restrictions, data collection transparency and an option to not share data with AI. Further, it will also take a look into enterprise usage of AI and how they are building tools that can be used for manipulative marketing strategies.
Another big concern is around misinformation. Generative AI makes spreading misinformation an easy task due to its ability to produce a high volume of text in seconds. EU will provide guidelines to create more responsible artificial intelligence, which will not create large blocks of texts based on any prompts and will be able to reject requests if they are unethical in nature.
Alongside, it will also have to future-proof the act by envisaging any and every direction AI can take from here including playing a role in decision-making capacity, the rise of a superintelligent computer, or job losses that can potentially damage humanity.
When is it likely to be passed and implemented?
But it might take the EU a bit of time before it actually is able to present the new regulatory framework. Recently, Commission vice president Margrethe Vestager said, “What I think is important is speed. We really need our legislation to get in place. I really hope that we can have the first meeting of the political negotiation before summer so that we can end it this year.”
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Author of this Amazing Article – Akash Dutta