The momentous Artificial Intelligence Act of the European Union has received preliminary approval from a committee of legislators, opening the way for the first set of comprehensive regulations governing the technology to be enacted anywhere in the world.
The draft regulations were first put up by the European Commission over two years ago in an effort to safeguard citizens from the risks associated with the rapidly developing technology, which saw a surge in interest and investment after OpenAI’s AI-powered chatbot ChatGPT was made available.
In a vote held on Thursday, MEPs decided to move the proposal forward to the trilogue, where EU lawmakers and member states will work out the final details of the measure.
According to the proposals, AI technologies will be ranked in terms of perceived risk from low to limited, high, and unacceptable. High-risk instruments won’t be outlawed, but those who use them must operate with extreme transparency.
Companies using tools for generative AI, like ChatGPT or the picture generator Midjourney, will have to explain whether they used protected content when creating their systems.
Svenja Hahn, a member of the European Parliament, said, “Against conservative aspirations for increased surveillance and leftist fantasies of over-regulation, parliament established a strong solution that will govern AI proportionately, protect citizens’ rights, as well as stimulate innovation and help the economy.
When it introduced ChatGPT around the end of last year, Microsoft-backed OpenAI sparked wonder and dread throughout the entire planet. The chatbot quickly surpassed 100 million monthly active users and became the fastest-growing consumer application in history.
Some observers were alarmed by the subsequent competition among large and small tech firms to release generative AI solutions, and Twitter owner Elon Musk supported a plan to halt the creation of such systems for a period of six months.