EU Reaches ‘Milestone’ to Regulating AI With OK of Rules Draft

EU AI regulation

European lawmakers have reportedly agreed to new transparency regulations for generative AI applications like ChatGPT.

The measures are part of a broader package of artificial intelligence (AI) rules passed in draft form on Thursday (May 11), according to a report by Reuters.

“It is a delicate deal,” said Romania’s Dragos Tudorache, one of the parliamentarians responsible for drafting the AI laws for the European Union (EU). “But it is a package that I think gives something to everyone that participated in these negotiations.”

The EU’s AI Act could end up being the first comprehensive legislation governing AI on the planet. In addition to the generative AI measures, lawmakers also agreed Thursday to a ban on the use of facial recognition in public and on predictive policing tools.

“This vote is a milestone in regulating AI, and a clear signal from the Parliament that fundamental rights should be a cornerstone of that,” Kim van Sparrentak, a member of Holland’s Greens party, told Reuters. “AI should serve people, society, and the environment, not the other way around.”

The legislation is now expected to move to the stage in its development: being finalized by European Commission lawmakers as well as by individual countries.

Thursday’s news comes as policymakers around the world race to come up with regulations to meet the rapid rise of AI adoption.

As noted here earlier this week, American companies may be leading the charge when it comes to developing AI, but lawmakers in America are at risk of falling behind.

“The dangers inherent to the abuses of AI technology, including inequitable discrimination and algorithm bias, disinformation and fraud, among others, make it imperative that governments move to regulate the technology appropriately, and fast,” PYMNTS wrote.

China this week exited a consultation period of its second round of generative AI regulation, which builds on pre-established rules agreed to last year in a bid to regulate deep fakes.

And while most breakthroughs in generative AI technology have happened in America, China is ahead of the U.S. in consumer adoption of the technology. For example, Xiaoice — the China-focused chatbot owned by Microsoft — has a user base that is nearly double the size of the American population.

Market observers, PYMNTS wrote, think leaders in Beijing are hoping faster-paced AI regulation efforts will promote even greater uptake.

Meanwhile, the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said May 4 that it would examine the systems and foundational models behind AI tools, including the use of large language models (LLMs) in what observers suggest is an early warning to the industry.

The same day, the White House hosted a group of tech company CEOs to discuss the need for companies to be transparent about their AI systems, as well the importance of being able to validate the safety, security and efficacy of the technology.