A photo taken on November 23, 2023 shows the logo of the ChatGPT application developed by the U.S. artificial intelligence research organization OpenAI on a smartphone screen (left) and the letters AI on a laptop screen in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany.

Kirill Kudryavtsev | Afp | Getty Images

The European Union agreed on groundbreaking rules for artificial intelligence on Friday, in what are likely to be the first major regulations regulating the emerging technology in the Western world.

Major EU institutions spent the week drawing up proposals to reach an agreement. Sticking points included the regulation of generative AI models used to create tools like ChatGPT and the use of biometric identification tools like facial recognition and fingerprint scanning.

Germany, France and Italy reject direct regulation of generative AI models, so-called “foundation models”, and instead favor self-regulation by the companies behind them through codes of conduct introduced by the government.

They fear excessive regulation could harm Europe’s ability to compete with Chinese and American technology leaders. Germany and France are home to some of Europe’s most promising AI startups, including DeepL and Mistral AI.

The EU AI law is the first of its kind specifically aimed at AI and follows years of European efforts to regulate the technology. The origins of the law date back to 2021, when the European Commission first proposed a common regulatory and legal framework for AI.

The law divides AI into risk categories from “unacceptable” – i.e. technologies that must be banned – to high, medium and low risk forms of AI.

Generative AI became a mainstream topic late last year after the public release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. This appeared after the first EU proposals of 2021 and caused lawmakers to rethink their approach.

ChatGPT and other generative AI tools like Stable Diffusion, Google’s Bard, and Anthropic’s Claude have stunned AI experts and regulators with their ability to generate sophisticated and human-like results from simple queries using massive amounts of data. They have drawn criticism amid concerns about the potential to displace jobs, create discriminatory language and violate privacy.

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Source : www.cnbc.com

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