The Case Against AI Regulation Makes No Sense | by Adrien Book | Aug, 2023


Opinion

Europe is on the right path — the rest of the world should follow it

Created by author via MidJourney

Ever since OpenAI released ChatGPT into the wild in late 2022, the world has been abuzz with talks of Generative Artificial Intelligence and the future it could create. Capitalism’s fanboys see the technology as a net positive; the logical continuation of the digital world, which has contributed to the creation of untold wealth… for a select few. Skeptics, meanwhile, recall the best of the 80s’ Sci-Fi, and fear we may be well on our way to create our own HAL / SHODAN / Ultron / SkyNet / GLaDOS.

These are the loud minorities. Most people presented with the possibilities offered by Generative Artificial Intelligence understand that technology is merely a tool, without a mind of its own. The onus is on users to “do good” with it. And if that is not possible because “good” is inherently subjective… then democratic governments need to step in and regulate.

How (and if) this is to be done is still hotly debated. The European Union was first out of the gate with the proposed AI Act. It is an imperfect first draft, but has the benefit of being a real attempt at managing a highly disruptive technology rather than letting tech billionaires call the shots. Below is a summary of the proposed law, and the pros and cons of such regulations.

The AI Act puts risk at the core of the discussion : “The new rules establish obligations for providers and users depending on the level of risk from artificial intelligence. While many AI systems pose minimal risk, they need to be assessed.

  • AI posing “unacceptable” levels of risk (behavioural manipulation, real-time and remote biometrics, social scoring…) will be banned
  • High-risk AI systems (relating to law enforcement, education, immigration…) “will be assessed before being put on the market and also throughout their lifecycle
  • Limited-risk AI systems will need to “comply with minimal transparency requirements that would allow users to make informed decisions.



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