European Commissioners Say Google CEO Agrees Voluntary AI Rules Needed

Digital Rules Could Allow EU To Ban Tech Services

Two European Commission officials said Google CEO Sundar Pichai agreed there’s a need for voluntary rules around artificial intelligence (AI).

EC Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said in a Wednesday (March 24) tweet that he and Pichai met and agreed that there’s a need for an “AI Pact” ahead of the AI Act now being developed by the European Union.

“Agreed with Google CEO @SundarPichai to work together with all major European and non-European #AI actors to already develop an ‘AI Pact’ on a voluntary basis ahead of the legal deadline of the AI regulation,” Breton said in his tweet.

Breton added later in the thread that the EU expects tech firms to respect its rules on data protection, online safety and AI, and that Pichai said he is committed to complying with all EU rules.

EC Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager also met with Pichai to discuss AI and said in a tweet that there is “no time to lose.”

“Good meeting w. @sundarpichai,” Vestager said in her tweet. “We need the #AIAct as soon as possible. But AI technology evolves at extreme speed. So we need voluntary agreement on universal rules for #AI now.”

The EU’s AI Act could end up being the first comprehensive legislation governing AI on the planet.

It was reported that European lawmakers have agreed to new transparency regulations for generative AI applications like ChatGPT as part of a broader package of AI rules passed in draft form May 11.

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

The rise of generative AI and other new advances in AI have reportedly made efforts to regulate the technology more difficult.

“The pace at which new systems are being released makes regulation a real challenge,” Daniel Leufer, a senior policy analyst at rights organization Access Now, said in March. “It’s a fast-moving target, but there are measures that remain relevant despite the speed of development: transparency, quality control and measures to assert their fundamental rights.”

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