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The EU Wants to Protect You From AI. Some Companies Aren’t Happy


The European Union is cracking down on artificial intelligence, and some companies aren’t too happy about it. A number of prominent companies in the EU criticized a recently passed draft of the AI Act in an open letter published Friday. In the letter, over 150 executives  argue that the legislation would jeopardize competition and technological sovereignty “without effectively tackling the challenges we are and will be facing.” 

The company executives, some of whom work at Airbus, ARM, Meta, Mistral AI, Renault and Ubisoft, among others, said the legislation adopted by the European Parliament would put a disproportionate compliance cost and liability risk on companies developing AI systems, effectively stifling competition during a critical time of growth.

“Generative AI is the kind of technology that will be decisive for the performance capacity and therefore the significance of different regions: states with the most powerful large language models will have a decisive competitive advantage,” the letter says. 

The European Parliament passed the preliminary Artificial Intelligence Act on June 14. The legislation requires companies’ AI models to go through risk assessments and meet transparency requirements.

Companies have been using AI in their operations for years, but the hype about large language models and generative AI products has exploded since the introduction of OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot late last year. Google came out with its own chatbot, Bard; Microsoft rolled out its own AI-powered Bing chatbot; and Meta and is testing its own bot for Instagram. 

AI can now write emails for you, shop for you, hire you or reject your application, or track your sleep. But the widespread implementation of AI has also sparked concerns.

Lawmakers in the EU and US are trying to figure out how to regulate AI, and even the company executives whose technology would be regulated have warned about AI’s risks to humanity

Given how fast AI has developed and evolved over the past few months, the European companies requested regulation implementation on par with the “rapid pace of technological development.”

The European Parliament didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Read more: AI Draws Attention at G7 Summit, With Leaders Calling for Guidelines


Watch this: ChatGPT Creator Testifies Before Congress On AI Safety and Regulation

Editors’ note: CNET is using an AI engine to create some personal finance explainers that are edited and fact-checked by our editors. For more, see this post.


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