In global rush to regulate AI, Europe set to be trailblazer

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From The Associated Press:

The breathtaking development of artificial intelligence has dazzled users by composing music, creating images and writing essays, while also raising fears about its implications. Even European Union officials working on groundbreaking rules to govern the emerging technology were caught off guard by AI’s rapid rise.

The 27-nation bloc proposed the Western world’s first AI rules two years ago, focusing on reining in risky but narrowly focused applications. General purpose AI systems like chatbots were barely mentioned. Lawmakers working on the AI Act considered whether to include them but weren’t sure how, or even if it was necessary.

“Then ChatGPT kind of boom, exploded,” said Dragos Tudorache, a Romanian member of the European Parliament co-leading the measure. “If there was still some that doubted as to whether we need something at all, I think the doubt was quickly vanished.”

The release of ChatGPT last year captured the world’s attention because of its ability to generate human-like responses based on what it has learned from scanning vast amounts of online materials. With concerns emerging, European lawmakers moved swiftly in recent weeks to add language on general AI systems as they put the finishing touches on the legislation.

. . . .

“Europe is the first regional bloc to significantly attempt to regulate AI, which is a huge challenge considering the wide range of systems that the broad term ‘AI’ can cover,” said Sarah Chander, senior policy adviser at digital rights group EDRi.

Authorities worldwide are scrambling to figure out how to control the rapidly evolving technology to ensure that it improves people’s lives without threatening their rights or safety.

Link to the rest at The Associated Press

PG suggests that regulating AI is Act 2 of regulating the Internet.

He suspects that AI computer systems will locate in places that are interested in the benefits of high-tech business and the great jobs it can create. PG is not aware of any reason AI capabilities cannot be miniaturized into a smartphone. PG just checked and found several AI apps that are available for his iPhone already. He predicts that the AI app goldrush is just getting started.

8 thoughts on “In global rush to regulate AI, Europe set to be trailblazer”

  1. An alternate take to yours PG, is that the tragedy of the commons, where commons is the internet, derives from a lack of regulation, where regulation is rules to prevent this from happening. Very easy to say, much harder, perhaps impossible to implement.

    Feel free to discuss.

    • How easy was it to tax the internet?
      How easy to regulate social media?
      How easy to regulate TOR and the darknet?
      Regulation = power to block, interruption. But the internet at full scale can’t be interrupted, it just reroutes. And that is just off ground based infrastructure. Now add in megaconstellations and what the russians discovered when they attacked Ukraine. Despite their best efforts, Ukraine is still part of the “cybersphere”.

      Or, in a different domain: how easy is it to regulate language. Not speech, which is hard enough: language.

      Wannabe regulators have no idea how powerless they are.
      Luddites never win.

      • No disagreement from me, but… I’m reminded of Chesterton’s Fence.

        Not easily implemented, if at all given the human condition.

        I think that the problem is the realization that we are all powerless in the face of change. Our only recourse is to improvise, adapt, and overcome.

        • I always fallback on FUTURE SHOCK.
          Surfing tech is doable.
          You just have to work it, much like surfing water waves.

    • Regulators generally feel. if they regulate some smart person will figure out how to implement, even when the smart people are saying its impossible.

      Encryption is like a key, so it should be possible to just get a 2nd key and problem solved. Right?
      A young man comes into a store and wants to buy a dirty magazine, the storekeeper looks at him or checks his ID and says yay or nay. So some smart person should be able to do it over the internet. Right? ideally without scanning his face, or sending his id over the net or breaking privacy regulations…..

      Programming payroll often means you need to code solutions to dumb ideas that are often decades old and frequently are for amounts less than $1. But you need to be exactly right.

      For example for people working from before 1978 you need to do termination differently up to 1978. The number of people still working 45 years later for the same company is minute, the programming for that edge case took days.

      • Regulators and those who appoint them think *they* are the smart people.
        Like corporate publishers, they think themselves better than the hoi polloi,”Guardians of Civilization”. Whatever gets them through the day, I suppose.

        More often than not, they are servants of entropy, as evidenced by the UK’s CMA in their current fiasco, trying to regulate what they don’t understand.

        Expect more of the same as they venture deeper into the swamps of “AI” tech.

  2. Regulating “AI” software is belling the cat.
    The fools think “AI” is a single identifyable thing: a product category like spreadsheets and databases, when it is a whole range of different coding techniques and algorithms. All different, all infinitely malleable, all impossible to pin down exactly what is “dangerous” and how to elliminate the “threat”.

    Might as well try to regulate color or taste.

    They can bloviate and hyperventilate all they want but they won’t be able to identify anything they *can* regulate and after all the “sound and fury signifying nothing” they might hold a presser and release an empty manifesto, allthewhile the software industry rolls merrily along.

    At most, the PR types might simply phase out the hollow “AI” buzzword in favor of app specific buzzwords that all boil down to: “more useful”.

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