S01E05: The NewsTalk – EU AI Act, latest updates (and latest blocks)

The Newstalk (single)
The Newstalk (single)
S01E05: The NewsTalk - EU AI Act, latest updates (and latest blocks)
Newstalk excerpt from episode S01E05 of the "Disruptive Talks" podcast: to see the complete program of the episode, visit this page. 
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The European Union faces a critical moment when it comes to regulating artificial intelligence (AI). The so-called “AI Act”, i.e. the proposed regulation on AI, risks being compromised due to a phenomenon of “regulatory capture”, in which governments appear to act in the interests of large companies rather than in the public interest.

What is the EU AI Act?

The EU AI Act is a legislative initiative proposed by the European Commission that aims to create a regulatory framework for the use of artificial intelligence in Europe. The goal is to ensure that AI is safe, transparent, traceable, non-discriminatory and respectful of the fundamental rights of people and businesses. The regulation would classify AI systems based on the level of risk, imposing more or less stringent obligations depending on the risk category.

Analysis of the current situation

There was a deadlock in talks on the AI Act at a technical meeting recently, with France and Germany strongly opposing any regulation for so-called “fundamental models” of AI. This resistance appears to be influenced by domestic AI companies with strong political ties, such as Mistral and Aleph Alpha. Faced with this change of position, the representatives of the European Parliament left the meeting room in protest, considering the regulation of fundamental models a red line not to be crossed.

Future perspectives

The next few days will be crucial to break the deadlock and reach an agreement before the next trilogue on 6 December. If a solution is not found, there may not be an AI Act in this legislature, and it is unclear what will happen in the next one. Some European capitals see the proposal as overregulation and may even want this outcome. Furthermore, while the EU initially had an advantage as a pioneer in AI regulation, other powers such as the US and the UK are emerging as key players, and the EU risks losing relevance in this field.
If the blockade by Macron and Scholz persists, any negative incidents related to generative AI could lead to questions about whether they could have been avoided with more effective regulation. The future of the AI Act is uncertain, and with it the EU's ability to maintain a leading role in the global governance of artificial intelligence.

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