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Irish Watchdog Says AI Oversight Can’t Be Rushed

 |  April 20, 2023

Generative AI needs to be regulated, but only once regulators know what they’re doing.

That’s according to Helen Dixon, Ireland’s data protection commissioner, who warned Thursday (April 20) against rushing into regulating the artificial intelligence (AI) field.

“It needs to be regulated and it’s about figuring out how to regulate it properly,” said Dixon, whose comments were reported from a conference in Dublin by Reuters.

“For the Irish data protection commission, where we are at is trying to understand a little bit more about the technology, about the large language models, about where the training data is sourced,” she said. “So I think it’s early days, but it’s time to be having those conversations now rather than rushing into prohibitions that really aren’t going to stand up.”

Dixon’s comments come as governments around the world are working to keep up with the pace of innovation in AI as more and more companies unveil tools reliant on the technology.

For example, a report Monday (April 17) by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said a group of European lawmakers have called for regulations that ensure AI can be developed in a way that’s safe, trustworthy and “human centric.”

Read more: Protecting Patient Data in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

“With the rapid evolution of powerful AI, we see the need for significant political attention,” the lawmakers said in a letter cited by the WSJ.

And last week, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) unveiled a framework of rules designed to help the country regulate the AI industry.

As PYMNTS wrote, there is “almost no effective current U.S. regulation of the technology, and Schumer is positioning his framework as a critical way for America to take a global leadership role as AI becomes increasingly integrated into daily life.”

In the days before Schumer released his proposal, the Biden administration put out a formal request for comment to help it craft policy recommendations around AI.

Meanwhile, China’s internet regulator has also released its own detailed proposals dealing with the technology. Among them are rules to ensure accuracy and privacy, prevent discrimination and guard intellectual property rights.