HomeAI Trends & NewsEurope's top corporations critique forthcoming AI rules from the EU

    Europe’s top corporations critique forthcoming AI rules from the EU

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    Prominent European corporations have unified their voice in opposition to the European Union's impending regulations on artificial intelligence. They assert that the newly ratified Artificial Intelligence Act is unproductive and could stifle competition. In a public letter submitted to the European Parliament, Commission, and member states last Friday, over 150 leaders from businesses such as Heineken, Siemens, Airbus, and Renault criticized the AI Act, stating it could “endanger Europe's technological autonomy and competitive edge.”

    On June 14th, after two years of rule development and adjustments to include recent advancements in AI like large language AI models (LLMs) and base models, such as OpenAI's GPT-4, the European Parliament approved a draft of the AI Act. There are still several stages left before the new law comes into force, with the remaining inter-institutional discussions projected to conclude later this year.

    Those who signed the public letter argue that the AI Act, in its present form, might stifle the potential AI technology offers for Europe to “return to the technological vanguard.” They believe that the ratified regulations are excessively stringent, and rather than fostering a conducive environment for AI innovation, they could potentially sabotage the region's technological goals.

    A key concern highlighted by the companies pertains to the legislation's stringent rules explicitly aimed at generative AI systems, a type of AI model generally classified under the “foundation model” category. The AI Act stipulates that providers of foundational AI models—regardless of their application—will have to register their product with the EU, comply with risk assessments, and satisfy transparency requirements, such as disclosing any copyrighted data used to train their models publicly.

    The letter maintains that the businesses developing these foundational AI systems could face disproportionate compliance expenses and liability risks. This could potentially lead AI providers to exit the European market altogether. “Europe cannot afford to remain a bystander,” the letter stated, urging EU lawmakers to abandon their stringent compliance obligations for generative AI models and instead concentrate on those that can accommodate “broad principles in a risk-based approach.”

    “Presently, the EU AI Act has devastating repercussions for European competitiveness”

    “Having thoroughly evaluated it, we have arrived at the conclusion that the EU AI Act, in its current form, has devastating repercussions for European competitiveness,” noted Jeannette zu Fürstenberg, a founding partner at La Famiglia VC and one of the letter's signatories. “At present, there is a robust spirit of innovation being fostered in Europe, with vital European talent departing US companies to pioneer technology in Europe. This innovative spirit is jeopardized by regulations that unduly burden young, inventive companies.”

    The businesses have also urged the EU to establish a specialized regulatory body within the AI industry to supervise how the AI Act can be implemented as the technology evolves.

    Responding to the letter, Dragoș Tudorache, a Member of the European Parliament who was instrumental in the creation of the AI Act, said, “It is regrettable that the intense lobbying of a few is influencing other established companies.” Tudorache asserts that the companies who endorsed the letter are reacting “on the prompt of a few,” and that the draft EU legislation provides “an industry-guided process for defining standards, governance with industry representation, and a lightweight regulatory regime that demands transparency. Nothing more.”

    In 2022, OpenAI, the organization behind Dall-E and ChatGPT, lobbied the EU to modify a previous draft of the AI Act. They asked lawmakers to abandon a proposed amendment that would have subjected all providers of general-purpose AI systems—a broad and ambiguous category of AI that LLMs and foundational models can be classified under—to the most stringent restrictions of the AI Act. This amendment was ultimately not included in the ratified legislation.

    Sam Altman, OpenAI's CEO, who also signed an open letter warning of potential threats that future AI systems could pose, had previously cautioned that the company could exit the European market if it could not comply with EU regulations. Altman subsequently retracted his statement, confirming that OpenAI has “no intentions of leaving.”

    Ellah Spring
    Ellah Spring is a nympho dedicated to artificial intelligence and adult content in all forms. She likes to share insights, personal opinions, keep up with trends and be thought-provoking in unimaginable ways. Ellah dreams about a world where tech and intimacy converges seamlessly. How sad.

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