Vestager: EU tech czar Vestager sees political deal on AI law this year

The European Union is likely to reach a political agreement this year that will pave the way for the world’s first major artificial intelligence (AI) law, the head of the tech regulation bloc has said. Margret Vestager said Sunday.

This follows a preliminary agreement reached on Thursday by members of the European parliament push the draft EU AI law to a vote by a committee of legislators on May 11. Parliament will then process the final details of the bill with EU member states and the European Commission before it becomes law.

At a press conference after group of seven Digital Ministers Meeting in Takasaki, Japan, Vestager said the EU AI Act was “pro-innovative” as it aims to reduce the risks of public harm from new technologies.

Regulators around the world are trying to strike a balance where governments can put up “fences” on new AI technologies without stifling innovation.

“The reason we have these guardrails for high-risk use cases is because cleaning up … after a misuse of AI would be much more expensive and damaging than the AI ​​use case on its own,” Vestager said.

While the EU AI Law is expected to be passed this year, lawyers have said it will take several years to come into effect. But Vestager said businesses could start considering the implications of the new legislation.

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“There was no reason to hesitate and wait for legislation to speed up the necessary discussions to ensure changes in all systems where AI would have a huge impact,” she said in an interview. While AI research has been going on for years, the sudden popularity of generative AI applications like OpenAI ChatGPT and Midjourney has led lawmakers to scramble to find ways to regulate any uncontrolled growth.

Organization supported Elon Musk and European lawmakers involved in drafting the EU AI Act are among those who called on world leaders to work together to find ways to stop cutting-edge artificial intelligence from creating disruptions.

Digital ministers from advanced G7 nations also agreed on Sunday to adopt “risk-based” regulation of AI, one of the first steps that could lead to global agreements on how to regulate AI.

“Now that everyone has AI at their fingertips…we need to demonstrate to the political leadership to make sure that AI can be used safely and get all the amazing opportunities for increased productivity and better services,” Vestager said in his speech. Reuters interview.

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