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EU Lawmakers Vote For Tougher AI Rules As Draft Moves To Final Stage

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European Union lawmakers on Wednesday agreed changes to draft artificial intelligence rules to include a ban on the use of the technology in biometric surveillance and for generative AI systems like ChatGPT to disclose AI-generated content.

The amendments to the EU Commission’s proposed landmark law aimed at protecting citizens from the dangers of the technology could set up a clash with EU countries opposed to a total ban on AI use in biometric surveillance.

The rapid adoption of Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other bots has led top AI scientists and company executives including Tesla’s Elon Musk and OpenAI’s Sam Altman to raise the potential risks posed to society.

“While Big Tech companies are sounding the alarm over their own creations, Europe has gone ahead and proposed a concrete response to the risks AI is starting to pose,” said Brando Benifei, co-rapporteur of the bill.

Among other changes, European Union lawmakers want any company using generative tools to disclose copyrighted material used to train its systems and for companies working on “high-risk application” to do a fundamental rights impact assessment and evaluate environmental impact.

Press conference on the AI Act plenary vote

Systems like ChatGPT would have to disclose that the content was AI-generated, help distinguish so-called deep-fake images from real ones and ensure safeguards against illegal content.

Microsoft (MSFT.O) and IBM (IBM.N) welcomed the latest move by EU lawmakers but looked forward to further refinement of the proposed legislation.

“We believe that AI requires legislative guardrails, alignment efforts at an international level, and meaningful voluntary actions by companies that develop and deploy AI,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.

The lawmakers will now have to thrash out details with EU countries before the draft rules become legislation.

Source: Reuters , Photo: European Union 2023, Daina Le Lardic

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