European lawmakers are set to resume trilogue talks between the EU Parliament, the EU Council of Ministers, and the European Commission, concerning the AI Act today following Thursday’s grueling 22-hour debate.
Despite yesterday’s failure to come to a consensus, European Commissioner Thierry Breton posted to X:
Lots of progress made over past 22 hours on the #AIAct
Resuming work with EU Parliament and Council tomorrow at 9:00 AM
— Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) December 7, 2023
Provisional terms for regulating generative AI systems such as that of OpenAI’s ChatGPT were reached early on Thursday, with Reuters reporting that the Commission would have a list of AI Models on file that it deemed a “systemic risk”, with providers of all-purpose AI technologies mandated with disclosing details of the content used to train them.
A potential loophole in the making, the law could also see free and open-source AI licenses exempt from regulation.
22 hours and counting
A key sticking point to achieving a consensus has been the usage of AI in biometric surveillance. While EU lawmakers have pushed to ban the usage of the technology altogether in this realm, certain bloc states are lobbying for an exemption when used for the purposes of national security, defence, and in the military.
An outdated playbook
While Brussels labours on today trying to achieve a landmark agreement that would potentially set a global precedent and establish a first-mover advantage, the Commission is trying to finalise details of legislation that was first proposed in 2021.
Although the potential power and benefits and dangers of AI have been known for quite some time, the technology was relatively under the radar of the general populus.
All of that changed on the 30th of November 2022 when OpenAI launched ChatGPT and the world collectively saw it with its own eyes.
Even now, as lawmakers haggle over regulation, weighing the potential up and down sides of the technology, Google has released a new AI model, Gemini, that it says outdoes ChatGPT in just about every area.
The election clock
Should a provisional consensus be achieved soon, it would provide the AI Act a chance to become the law before the upcoming European parliamentary elections in June. If the deal is not reached on time, however, the legislation faces the possibility of being shelved.
If enacted, EU AI Act regulations are expected to take effect sometime after 2025.
Talks resume today at 9:00 CET.
Lead image: vecstock