The European Union and the United States are moving ahead with formulating a draft code of conduct on artificial intelligence. The EU has had an early start in the race to outline a legal architecture for artificial technology, but the bloc has reached across the Atlantic to get the largest economy to join the pioneering move.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted on Wednesday that the Western countries have shown a 'fierce urgency' to put in place AI regulations. Part of the reason for the haste is the outsize role of China in the emerging industry.
How to Legislate and Regulate
"There's almost always a gap when new technologies emerge ... the time it takes for governments and institutions to figure out how to legislate or regulate," Blinken said after holding talks with the EU authorities in Sweden. He said the code would be open to all like-minded countries, according to Agence France-Presse.
European Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager, who also heads the bloc's competition and digital strategy, said the draft will be completed within weeks. "We think it's really important that citizens can see that democracies can deliver," she said.
According to Vestager, apart from the EU and the US, countries like Canada, UK, Japan and India should be brought on to the platform.
She said generative AI represents a 'seismic change' in the field of technology and therefore, a comprehensive regulatory response is needed to deal with the 'categorical shift'.
"We will be very encouraged to take it from here. To produce a draft. To invite global partners to come on board. To cover as many as possible ... And we will make this a question of absolute urgency to have such an AI Code of Conduct for a voluntary signup," she said at the panel session on generative AI at the US-EU Trade & Tech Council (TTC).
"Now technology is accelerating to a completely different degree than what we've seen before ... So obviously, something needs to be done to get the most of this new technology... We're talking about technology that develops by the month so what we have concluded here at this TTC is that we should take an initiative to get as many other countries on board on an AI Code of Conduct for businesses voluntarily to sign up," she said, according to TechCrunch.
Data Privacy, Related Issues
Gina Raimondo, the US secretary of state for commerce, said the Biden administration is eager to carry out its role in creating a voluntary AI Code of Conduct. "AI is coming at a pace like no other technology ... Like other technologies, we are already seeing issues with data privacy, misuse, what happens when the models get into the hands of malign actors, misinformation. Unlike other technology, the rate of the pace of innovation is at a breakneck pace, which is different and a hockey stick that doesn't exist in other technologies. In that respect, I think the TTC could play an incredibly relevant role because it will take a little bit of time for the US Congress or the parliament or other regulatory agencies to catch up," she said.
The TTC meeting was attended by Sam Altman, who spearheaded the AI frenzy late last year by launching the ChatGPT bot. At the end of the session, the US and the EU released a joint statement that underscored the urgency in creating an AI regulatory framework.
AI is a transformative technology with great promise for our people, offering opportunities to increase prosperity and equity, the statement said. "But in order to seize the opportunities it presents, we must mitigate its risks ... The European Union and the United States reaffirm their commitment to a risk-based approach to AI to advance trustworthy and responsible AI technologies."