EU AI Act: Germany, France and Italy come to an understanding on the future of AI regulation in Europe

Conflicts from crucial EU member states, such as France, regarding the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) threatened to derail EU legislation.
ADVERTISEMENTAccording to a joint paper seen by Reuters, an agreement has been reached by France, Germany, and Italy on the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI), which is expected to expedite negotiations at the European level. The commitments supported by the three governments are voluntary but mandatory for both small and large AI providers within the European Union that decide to adhere to them. Negotiations on how the bloc should position itself are ongoing between the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the EU Council. The European Parliament introduced its AI Act in June, aimed at controlling the risks of AI applications and preventing discriminatory effects while harnessing the innovative potential of AI. On Friday, MEPs left a meeting with member state representatives after reaching an impasse over the suggested approach to foundational models, as reported by Eurativ. France, Germany, and Italy were among the prominent member states advocating against regulation, a stance that jeopardized efforts to pass the legislation in this session of the European Parliament entirely. AI regulations should apply to all During the discussions in June, the European Parliament proposed that the code of conduct should initially only be obligatory for major AI providers, primarily those from the United States. The three EU governments have argued that this perceived competitive advantage for smaller European providers could lead to decreased trust in them, resulting in fewer customers. Consequently, they insisted that the rules of conduct and transparency be mandatory for everyone. Initially, no penalties should be enforced, according to the paper. However, a system of sanctions could be established if violations of the code of conduct are detected after a certain period of time. The paper mentioned that in the future, a European authority would oversee compliance with the standards. Germany’s Economy Ministry, in conjunction with the Ministry of Digital Affairs, stated that AI itself should not be regulated by laws and state control, but rather its application. Volker Wissing, the Minister for Digital Affairs, expressed his satisfaction with the agreement reached with France and Germany to solely limit the use of AI. “If we aim to compete at the top level of AI globally, we need to regulate the applications and not the technology,” Wissing stated. Striking a balance between technological and legal objectives Franziska Brantner, State Secretary for Economic Affairs, emphasized the importance of seizing the opportunities and containing the risks. “We have devised a proposal that can ensure a balance between both objectives in a technological and legal landscape that has not yet been defined,” Brantner remarked. As governments worldwide seek to reap the economic rewards of AI, Britain held its first AI safety summit in November. ADVERTISEMENTThe German government will host a digital summit in Jena, Thuringia, on Monday and Tuesday, bringing together representatives from politics, business, and science. Issues related to AI will also be on the agenda when the German and Italian governments come together for discussions in Berlin on Wednesday.

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