EU lawmakers hope to agree on draft AI rules next month, with the goal of reaching an agreement with EU countries by the end of the year, a lawmaker guiding the AI bill said.
The European Commission proposed AI rules in 2021 in an attempt to boost innovation and set global standards for a technology used in everything from self-driving cars and chatbots to automated factories now led by China and the United States.
“We still have a good time to achieve the general goal and the agenda we set out at the beginning, which is to get it done during this mandate,” Dragos Tudorache, MEP and co-rapporteur on the EU’s AI bill, told Reuters.
“It’s been a little bit longer than I initially thought,” he said. “The complexity of this text is even higher than the typical Brussels complex mechanism.”
The proposed legislation has been criticized by lawmakers and consumer groups for not fully addressing the risks of artificial intelligence systems, but companies involved have warned that stricter rules could stifle innovation.
Intense debate over how artificial intelligence should be regulated has led several experts to predict that draft legislation could hit a wall and be delayed.
“All political families have some unresolved issues. I told them at the last meeting that you know you’ve succeeded in compromise when everyone is equally unhappy,” he said. “Some would say it’s optimistic … I hope it will happen.”
One area of contention is the definition of “artificial general intelligence,” with some arguing it should be considered high-risk, while others point to the risks posed by the popular chatbot ChatGPT as an area that needs more regulatory scrutiny .
“This year alone, we’re going to see some exponential leaps, not just in ChatGPT, but in many other general machines,” he said, adding that lawmakers are trying to lay out some ground rules for what makes GM so powerful. A unique kind of artificial intelligence.
ChatGPT can generate articles, essays, jokes and even poems based on prompts. OpenAI, a private company backed by Microsoft, made it free to the public in November.
EU industry chief Thierry Breton said the new proposed AI rules would aim to address concerns about the risks surrounding ChatGPT.
However, critics of regulatory overreach say the move could stymie innovation by leading to higher costs and greater pressure on companies to comply.
“I think if that’s going to be the effect of the bill, then we’re going to be seriously off track. If that’s what’s going to happen, we haven’t done our job,” Tudorache said.
© Thomson Reuters 2023