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### EU AI Act Regulations Finalized by Germany, France, and Italy

Disagreements from key EU member states, including France, on how artificial intelligence (AI) shou…

Key disagreements among major EU member states regarding the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI), notably involving France, are posing a significant threat to the development of EU legislation. A joint paper obtained by Reuters reveals that France, Germany, and Italy have reached a consensus on the regulatory framework for artificial intelligence, a move expected to expedite discussions at the European level. These three nations have committed to offering voluntary but binding pledges to support both small and large AI companies within the European Union.

Discussions are underway among the European Commission, European Parliament, and EU Council to determine the positioning of the bloc on this crucial matter. In June, the European Parliament introduced the AI Act, designed to harness the innovative potential of AI technologies while mitigating associated risks and preventing biased outcomes. However, disagreements arose during a recent meeting between Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and national representatives, particularly regarding the proposed approach to foundational AI models. France, Germany, and Italy were prominent among the states opposing certain regulations, jeopardizing the timely passage of the legislation within the European Parliament.

The European Parliament has recommended that the code of conduct initially apply exclusively to major AI companies, predominantly hailing from the United States. However, the three EU institutions have highlighted the risk of smaller European companies gaining a competitive edge leading to reduced consumer trust unless all entities are held to the same standards of conduct and transparency. While no immediate penalties are envisioned, a mechanism for enforcement may be established after a certain number of years in case of code violations. The report also advocates for the oversight of compliance with standards by a Western authority moving forward.

The regulation primarily focuses on the application of AI rather than the technology itself, as emphasized by Germany’s Economy Ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Digital Affairs. Volker Wissing, the Minister of Modern Affairs, expressed satisfaction with the agreement reached with France and Germany, emphasizing the importance of managing AI applications to compete effectively on a global scale.

Franziska Brantner, the State Minister for Financial Affairs, stressed the need to capitalize on opportunities while minimizing risks in an evolving technical and legal landscape. She highlighted the importance of striking a balance between these dual objectives. Meanwhile, as governments worldwide seek to leverage the economic benefits of AI, Britain hosted its inaugural AI safety summit in November. Discussions on AI-related issues will continue as the German and Italian governments convene in Berlin, with AI taking center stage on the agenda alongside other pressing matters.

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Last modified: February 17, 2024
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