How governments are regulating AI tools

Rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI) such as Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT are complicating governments’ efforts to pass laws governing the technology’s use.

Here are the latest steps national and international governing bodies are taking to regulate AI tools:

AustraliaPlanning Rules

Australia’s search engine will create new codes to prevent the sharing of AI-generated child sexual abuse content and the production of deepfake versions of the same content, the country’s internet regulator said on September 8.

BritainPlanning Rules

The Financial Conduct Authority, one of several state regulators tasked with creating new guidelines to cover AI, is consulting with the Alan Turing Institute and other legal and academic institutions to improve understanding of the technology, a spokeswoman told Reuters.

Britain’s competition regulator said in May it would begin examining the impact of AI on consumers, businesses and the economy, and whether new controls are needed.

ChinaProvisional rules applied

China has issued a set of temporary measures since August 15, requiring service providers to submit security assessments and obtain approval before releasing mass-market AI products.

Following government approval, four Chinese tech companies including Baidu Inc and SenseTime Group launched their AI chatbots to the public on August 31.

European Union – Planning Regulations

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on September 13 called for a global panel to assess the risks and benefits of AI informing climate policymakers, similar to the global IPCC panel.

EU lawmakers agreed in June to amend the bloc’s draft AI law. Lawmakers will now have to work out the details with EU countries before the draft rules become law.

The biggest issue is expected to be facial recognition and biometric surveillance where some MPs want a total ban while EU countries want exceptions for national security, defense and military purposes.

Governments turn up the heat on AI early, following challenges in regulating social media

France – Investigating possible violations

France’s privacy watchdog CNIL said in April it was investigating several complaints about ChatGPT after the chatbot was temporarily banned in Italy for suspected violations of privacy rules.

France’s National Assembly approved the use of AI video surveillance during the 2024 Paris Olympics in March, ignoring warnings from civil rights groups.

G7 – Seeking input on rules

The Group of Seven (G7) leaders’ meeting in Hiroshima, Japan, in May acknowledged the need for governance of AI and immersive technologies, and ministers agreed to discuss the technology as the “Hiroshima AI Process” and report on the results by the end of 2023.

G7 nations should adopt “risk-based” regulation on AI, G7 digital ministers said after a meeting in April.

Ireland – Seeking input on rules

Generative AI needs to be regulated, but governing bodies must figure out how to do it properly before rushing into restrictions that “won’t really stand up”, Ireland’s data protection chief said in April.

Israel – Seeking input on regulations

Israel Innovation Authority national AI planning director Ziv Katzir said in June that Israel is working on AI regulations to strike the right balance between innovation and the preservation of human rights.

Israel published a 115-page draft AI policy in October and is gathering public feedback before a final decision.

Italy – Investigating possible violations

Italy’s data protection authority plans to review artificial intelligence platforms and hire AI experts, a top official said in May.

ChatGPT became available to users in Italy in April after being temporarily banned in March due to concerns by the National Data Protection Authority.

Japan – Investigating possible violations

Japan hopes to introduce rules by the end of 2023 that are closer to the U.S. stance than the stricter rules planned in the EU, an official close to the deliberations said in July.

The country’s privacy watchdog said in June that it had warned OpenAI not to collect sensitive data without people’s permission.

Spain – Investigating potential violations

Spain’s data protection agency said in April that it was launching a preliminary investigation into a possible data breach by ChatGPT. It has asked the EU’s privacy watchdog to assess the privacy issues surrounding ChatGPT.

United Nations – Planning Regulations

The UN Security Council held its first formal discussion on AI in New York in July. The council addressed both military and non-military applications of AI, which “could have very serious implications for global peace and security”, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

Guterres in June supported a proposal by some AI officials to create an AI watchdog like the International Atomic Energy Agency, but noted that “only member states can create it, not the UN Secretariat.”

The UN Secretary-General has announced plans to start work on a high-level AI advisory body to review AI governance arrangements by the end of the year.

US – Seeking input on rules

The US Congress held hearings from September 11 to 13 on an AI forum featuring AI and meta platform META.O CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

On September 12, the White House said Adobe, IBM, Nvidia and five other companies had signed on to President Joe Biden’s voluntary commitment to regulate AI, which requires steps such as watermarking AI-generated content.

Washington DC District Judge Beryl Howell ruled on August 21 that art created by AI without any human input cannot be copyrighted under US law.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched a wide-ranging investigation into claims OpenAI violated consumer protection laws in July. –

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