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European Union Warned by Businesses, Tech Groups about Over-Regulating AI Systems

CIO Insider Team | Friday, 24 November, 2023

The European Union receives collective forewarning from businesses and tech groups about over-regulating artificial intelligence systems called foundation models that could end emerging startups or drive them out of the region regarding upcoming AI rules.

These contentions are majority about foundation models such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, AI systems trained on large amounts of data with an ability to learn from new data to perform tasks.

The plea rose amid the EU countries and EU lawmakers’ progressing move towards the last mile of the negotiations of the rule in hopes to set benchmarks for other countries.

"For Europe to become a global digital powerhouse, we need companies that can lead on AI innovation also using foundation models and GPAI," DigitalEurope, whose members include Airbus, Apple, Ericsson, Google, LSE and SAP, said in a letter.

"As European digital industry representatives, we see a huge opportunity in foundation models, and new innovative players emerging in this space, many of them born here in Europe. Let's not regulate them out of existence before they get a chance to scale, or force them to leave."

Till date, the letter has already received 32 European digital associations’ signatures. GPAI refers to general-purpose artificial intelligence.

The companies also rebuffed calls from creative industries for the AI rules to tackle copyright issues.

Having said that three of the world’s AI unicorns hail from the European Union, the signatories supported a joint deal by France, Germany and Italy to lessen the scope of AI rules over foundation models to transparency requirements.

Additionally, they raised concerns that the current broad scope of the AI rules could hamper existing legislations in certain sectors such as healthcare.

"We are increasingly frustrated at what we see as a lack of interest in the effects on the medical sector. Our impression is that people don't care about the content any more, they just want to get it done. We are simply collateral damage," said Siemens Healthineers.

The companies also rebuffed calls from creative industries for the AI rules to tackle copyright issues.

"The EU's comprehensive copyright protection and enforcement framework already contains provisions that can help address AI-related copyright issues, such as the text and data mining exemption and corresponding," they said.

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