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EU Presses Big Tech Companies on AI Threats

AI Regulation

European regulators want to question Big Tech firms about potential threats of generative artificial intelligence (AI).

To that end, the European Commission (EC) has sent requests under the Digital Services Act (DSA) to Microsoft, Alphabet, Meta, X, Snapchat and TikTok on their handling of such risks, according to a Thursday (March 14) press release.

The commission wants these companies to provide information on their mitigation measures for risks such as “so-called ‘hallucinations’ where AI provides false information, the viral dissemination of deepfakes and the automated manipulation of services that can mislead voters.”

The companies have until April 5 to respond to the commission’s questions about election integrity and until April 26 to answer the remaining queries.

The EC’s efforts come as regulators around the world are cracking down on the use of AI to commit all sorts of fraud.

For example, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last month proposed new rules that would prohibit the impersonation of individuals following an increase in complaints around impersonation fraud driven by AI.

“Fraudsters are using AI tools to impersonate individuals with eerie precision and at a much wider scale. With voice cloning and other AI-driven scams on the rise, protecting Americans from impersonator fraud is more critical than ever,” FTC Chair Lina M. Khan said.

The EC’s announcement came the same day that the EC launched formal proceedings to determine whether Alibaba’s AliExpress breached DSA requirements, examining the online marketplace’s management and mitigation of risks, content moderation, handling of complaints, advertising transparency, traceability of traders and accessibility of data to researchers.

“Consumers’ protection, especially for minors, is an essential cornerstone of the Digital Services Act,” Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition watchdog, said in a news release.

“AliExpress must respect its obligations to mitigate the systemic risks on its platform and apply all safeguard provisions to ensure its services are safe. The Commission will now assess its measures and verify their compliance with our rules.”

Reached for comment by PYMNTS, AliExpress said it respects the rules and regulations of the markets in which it operates.

“As a VLOP [Very Large Online Platform], we have been working with, and will continue to work with, the relevant authorities on making sure we comply with applicable standards and will continue to ensure that we will be able to meet the requirements of the DSA,” the company said in an emailed statement. “AliExpress is committed to creating a safe and compliant marketplace for all consumers.”