EU lawmakers call for extending regulations to AI apps

A dozen lawmakers in the European Parliament are proposing that regulations on artificial intelligence tools deemed dangerous in the AI Act be extended to a broader set of such applications in the region.

In this way, the legislation would not only apply to AI tools considered to be of the highest risk but to others offered on the market. The proposal was presented through an open letter addressed to the European Parliament.

“AI is moving very fast, and we need to move to,” wrote on Twitter the MEP, Dragos Tudorache.

The lawmaker argues that the call made by Future of Life Institute for the development of AI tools to stop for six months, as also noted by billionaire Elon Musk and others, should motivate a reflection of political leadership on the issue.

A broad group of AI experts has called on the European Union to legislate broader rules around the topic, as they believe that excluding general purpose AI (GPAI) such as ChatGTP and others in their regulations would be a serious mistake.

While not all AI tools are designed for high-risk purposes, nothing prevents them from being used for other purposes, experts say. They also believe that without proper controls, AI could become a dangerous tool.

Although the lawmakers who signed the letter say the Future of Life Institute’s call is somewhat “alarmist,” it is still important to take their views into account. Therefore, they are calling for international cooperation to put the brakes on AI developments for a while.

In the letter, the lawmakers acknowledge that the current AI Law seeks to regulate cases of AI use considered high-risk. But they believe that complementary rules and measures are needed “for the development and deployment of powerful General Purpose AI systems that can be easily adapted to a multitude of purposes.”

The Future of Life Institute letter, signed by Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, and the businessman and politician Andrew Yang, among others, calls for a pause of at least six months to analyze its benefits and risks.

“We share some of the concerns expressed in this letter, even while we disagree with some of its more alarmist statements,” the lawmakers said.

They added, “We are nevertheless in agreement with the letter’s core message: with the rapid evolution of powerful AI, we see the need for significant political attention.”

Likewise, the EU politicians said they will contribute a set of rules to enrich the current AI Law, which will be “human-centered” to make this type of technology “safe and trustworthy.”

One of the immediate objectives of the group of MEPs is for both the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the president of the United States, Joe Biden, to call a world summit as soon as possible, where the discussion about the future of artificial intelligence.

They point out that this event could agree on a general framework with guiding principles to enable the “development, control, and deployment” of AI.

While EU lawmakers are focusing on AI apps, other tech giants are making strides in energy, like Microsoft’s groundbreaking commitment to nuclear fusion energy.

Santiago Contreras is a Venezuelan professional journalist and writer. He has a degree in economic journalism from the Universidad de los Andes and a master's degree in Communication in Organizations from the Complutense University of Madrid. He regularly writes on various topics, including economics, finance, and cryptocurrency, for various international media outlets.