EU tech chief urges EU and US to advocate for AI code of conduct

Lawmakers in the European Union are attempting to establish a set of rules for the creation and implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) before enacting their upcoming EU AI Act.

At a joint meeting of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council in Sweden on May 31, the EU’s tech head, Margrethe Vestager, suggested that officials in the United States and EU should encourage the AI industry to embrace a voluntary code of conduct within a few months.

Vestager believes that this would provide protection while new laws are still being developed. She emphasized that the new laws would take effect in the “best-case scenario” in two and a half to three years, which is “clearly too late.”

“We must act now.”

Vestager is responsible for managing an EU strategy for data and an approach to AI. She stated that if the EU and the US take the lead, they can create a code of conduct that would make everyone “more comfortable” with the direction of AI development.

“This is the type of urgency that you must address in the coming weeks, a few months, and, of course, involve the industry… to establish trust in what is ongoing.”

The tech head stated that lawmakers must agree on specifics rather than broad statements.

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Meanwhile, members of the European Parliament are still finalizing the EU’s AI Act, which will introduce comprehensive regulations for the technology.

The most recent draft of the legislation included a prohibition on the public use of biometric surveillance and predictive policing tools. This is in addition to AI tools being classified based on their perceived risk level, ranging from low to unacceptable.

On May 25, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, the company responsible for the AI chatbot ChatGPT, spoke to EU lawmakers about over-regulation of the AI industry.

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