EU AI Rules Could Damage Europe

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More than 160 executives at companies such as Renault and Meta have signed an open letter stating that the proposed EU Artificial Intelligence legislation would harm Europe’s competitiveness and technological sovereignty.

This month, European Union lawmakers agreed to draft rules for AI systems such as ChatGPT. These rules require disclosure of AI-generated content, detection of deep-fake images, and safeguards against illegal content.

In response to the growing popularity of ChatGPT, several open letters have been issued by prominent figures in the AI field – including Elon Musk, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, and Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio (collectively known as the “godfathers of AI”) – calling for regulation of AI technology and expressing concern about its potential for extinction.

Yann LeCun, an employee of Meta, signed a letter on Friday challenging EU regulations. Other signatories included executives from Cellnex (Spanish telecom), Mirakl (French software), and Berenberg (German investment bank). Requests for comment from Renault, Meta, and the other companies were not immediately answered.

Cedric O, a former French digital minister and one of the letter’s three organizers, told Reuters that they are primarily focused on the European Parliament’s version, which “moved from a risk-based approach to a technology-based approach.” He was joined by Jeannette zu Fürstenberg (founding partner of La Famiglia VC) and René Obermann (Airbus chairman) in organizing the open letter.

The letter cautioned that, under the proposed EU regulations, technologies like generative AI would be heavily regulated and companies creating such systems would be subject to high compliance costs and disproportionate liability risks.
This regulation could result in highly innovative companies relocating their activities overseas and investors withdrawing their capital from European AI development, it said.

In May, OpenAI’s Altman had threatened to withdraw ChatGPT from Europe due to the difficulty of meeting upcoming AI laws. However, he later reversed his stance and declared that the company has no intention of leaving. Dragos Tudorache, who co-authored EU proposals, told Reuters that he believes Altman and his team have not read the legislation closely before making their assumptions. According to Tudorache, the suggestions made in the letter are already included in the draft.

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