EU’s Margrethe Vestager says draft code of conduct on artificial intelligence (AI) could be drafted within weeks
The European Union is reacting to the uptake in artificial intelligence (AI), and could have a draft voluntary AI code within weeks.
This is according to EU tech chief Margrethe Vestager, who said on Wednesday she believed a draft code of conduct on AI could be drawn up within weeks, allowing industry to commit to a final proposal “very, very soon,” Reuters reported.
It comes after EU lawmakers recently agreed tough rules over the use of AI, including restrictions on ChatGPT-style chatbots.
The European push to develop a code of practice for AI comes amid regulatory and industry concern about the uptake of AI systems.
According to Reuters, Vestager said the US and European Union should push a voluntary code of conduct to provide safeguards while new laws are developed.
“Generative AI is a complete game-changer,” Vestager told a news conference on Wednesday after a meeting of the EU-US Trade and Technology Council.
“Everyone knows this is the next powerful thing,” Vestager reportedly said. “So within the next weeks we will advance a draft of an AI code of conduct.”
Vestager added that she hoped there would be a final proposal “very, very soon” that industry could sign up to.
The European Union’s AI Act, with rules on facial recognition and biometric surveillance, is still going through the legislative process, Reuters noted.
“In the best of cases it will take effect in two and a half to three years time,” estager told reporters before the meeting of the TTC in Sweden. “That is obviously way too late. We need to act now.”
Leaders of the G7 nations earlier this month called for the development of technical standards to keep AI “trustworthy”, urging international discussions governance, copyright, transparency and the threat of disinformation.
Vestager said there needed to be agreement on specifics, not just general statements, suggesting the European Union and the US could help drive the process.
“If the two of us take the lead with close friends, I think we can push something that will make us all much more comfortable with the fact that generative AI is now in the world and is developing at amazing speeds,” she reportedly said.
Meanwhile the UK has already enacted its own proposals before the European Union and the United States.
In March the UK government set out its plan to regulate the artificial intelligence (AI) sector and proposed five principles to guide its use via its “adaptable” AI plan.
Then in April the UK government also announced a taskforce (Foundation Model Taskforce) with an initial £100 million in funding to develop artificial intelligence (AI) foundation models.
This development comes as US politicians, including President Joe Biden, have indicated they are planning rules for AI, but are also wary of stifling domestic innovation at the expense of limiting the ability of western firms to compete with China.