EU Sees ‘Convergence’ With Japan On Generative AI

EU official says bloc sees ‘convergence’ with Japan on generative AI as countries seek to regulate popular technology

A senior European Union official said the bloc sees “convergence” with Japan over generative artificial intelligence (AI) as countries rush to regulate the wildly popular technology.

“I see a lot of convergence in how we look at AI and generative AI,” said Vera Jourova, the European Commission’s vice-president for values and transparency, in a Monday interview with Reuters.

“I was recently in China and it’s a totally different thing. I could discuss with our Japanese partners because we do not have to explain to each other basic, basic things,” she said.

She spoke on the sidelines of a forum on internet governance in Kyoto.

Understanding the New European Union AI Law

AI rules

The Group of Seven countries are discussing guidleines for generative AI under a process established in Hiroshima.

The EU took a lead on regulation with its far-reaching AI Act passed earlier this year.

EU industry commissioner Thiery Breton met with Japanese officials in July as the two powers sought to collaborate more closely on areas including artificial intelligence and semiconductors, two areas considered critical for economic development.

“I will engage with [the] Japanese government … on how we can organise our digital space, including AI based on our shared values,” Breton said in a video statement at the time.

‘Digital partnership’

He said the powers would hold an EU-Japan Digital Partnership council to discuss areas including quantum and high-performance computing, following a similar event with South Korea.

The EU is seeking closer collaboration with allied countries as part of a move to “de-risk” from China, a trend that has included the imposition of export controls by the Netherlands in July affecting firms such as critical chip equpment maker ASML.