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EU Official Says AI Firms Must Help Block ‘Malicious Actors’

 |  June 5, 2023

Should artificial intelligence (AI)-generated content be labeled as such?

If that content could be used to spread disinformation, then the answer is yes, European Commission deputy head Vera Jourova said at a news conference Monday (June 5), Reuters reported.

Her comments come amid concerns that AI could be used to make the creation of disinformation easier than ever.

“Signatories who integrate generative AI into their services like Bing Chat for Microsoft, Bard for Google should build in necessary safeguards that these services cannot be used by malicious actors to generate disinformation,” Jourova said, per the report. “Signatories who have services with a potential to disseminate AI generated disinformation should in turn put in place technology to recognize such content and clearly label this to users.”

Related: US-EU Artificial Intelligence agreement proves there’s no time to wait for companies to act on AI regulation

Companies that have signed up to the European Union Code of Practice to combat disinformation — which include Microsoft, Meta and Google — should report on safeguards they’ve created to tackle this in July, Jourova said, according to the report. She also warned that Twitter should expect more scrutiny for regulators after quitting the code last week.

“By leaving the code, Twitter has attracted a lot of attention, and its actions and compliance with EU law will be scrutinized vigorously and urgently,” Jourova said, per the report.

Her comments come as the EU is preparing to adopt rules governing AI, something that Margrethe Vestager, the bloc’s technology chief, said could happen within weeks.

Several critics are calling for curbs on AI, such as Oxford University’s Sandra Watcher, who said last week that the threat of AI centers on “bias, discrimination and the environmental impact.”

She cautioned against focusing on the “Terminator scenario” of AI triggering a nuclear war to the exclusion of more immediate issues, like the fact that cooling a mid-sized data center requires 360 gallons of water per day.

In an interview with PYMNTS published Monday, i2c CEO and Chairman Amir Wain cautioned against a full-on embrace of the new technology, especially for financial services businesses.

“Because of the quality [and regulatory] requirements, the financial services sector should use an augmented AI approach,” he said.