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Europe Moves Ahead on AI Regulation, Challenging Tech Giants' Power

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European flags in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.

The threat posed by the legislation to such companies is so grave that OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, said it may be forced to pull out of Europe, depending on what is included in the final text.

Credit: Julien Warnand/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

European Union lawmakers on Wednesday took a key step toward passing landmark restrictions on the use of artificial intelligence, putting Brussels on a collision course with American tech giants funneling billions of dollars into the burgeoning technology.

The European Parliament overwhelmingly approved the E.U. AI Act, a sweeping package that aims to protect consumers from potentially dangerous applications of artificial intelligence. Government officials made the move amid concerns that recent advances in the technology could be used to nefarious ends, ushering in surveillance, algorithmically driven discrimination and prolific misinformation that could upend democracy. E.U. officials are moving much faster than their U.S. counterparts, where discussions about AI have dragged on in Congress despite apocalyptic warnings from even some industry officials.

The legislation takes a "risk-based approach," introducing restrictions based on how dangerous lawmakers predict an AI application could be. It would ban tools that European lawmakers deem "unacceptable," such as systems allowing law enforcement to predict criminal behavior using analytics. It would introduce new limits on technologies simply deemed "high risk," such as tools that could sway voters to influence elections or recommendation algorithms, which suggest what posts, photos and videos people see on social networks.


From The Washington Post
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