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Massive Adoption of Generative AI Accelerates Regulation ...
The use of AI in the consumer market has exploded like never before, driven by the launch of general-purpose AI tools like OpenAI's ChatGPT.

Massive Adoption of Generative AI Accelerates Regulation Plans

Generative AI has seen an unprecedented growth in the consumer market driven by the launch of AI tools including OpenAI's ChatGPT and Stability AI's Stable Diffusion in 2022. Concurrently, malevolent usage of these tools has amplified, leading to an urgent calling for governance by regulatory bodies.

Regulatory Roadmaps

Sam Altman, OpenAI's CEO, called for the creation of a regulatory body for AI companies on May 16, 2023, before a US Senate committee. This follows the incident in March where Italy's data protection agency (GPDP) temporarily banned ChatGPT, citing concerns over the absence of a legal basis that legitimises "the mass collection and storage of personal data for the purpose of 'training' the algorithms underlying [ChatGPT’s] operation."

Simultaneously, other data protection agencies, including Canada's Privacy Commissioner and the European Data Protection Board, began investigations into ChatGPT, further easing fears about privacy and the potential misuse of generative AI tools. For instance, these tools could spread disinformation by indiscriminately scraping the internet to build the AI models.

AI Legislation Pipeline

Legislative steps for AI regulation have been in various stages in countries such as the EU, where the AI Act was introduced in April 2021, and Canada, with the AI and Data Act introduced in June 2022. The EU regulation's latest draft proposed comprehensive measures to control "foundational models" and proposes that "general purpose AI models" should fall into one of four categories based on their risk level: low and minimal risk, limited risk, high risk, and unacceptable risk.

Approaches Across the Globe

The Canada’s AI & Data Act, part of the federal Bill C-27 for the Digital Charter Implementation, renders a different approach with no ban on AI automated decision-making tools, including in critical areas. Instead, it mandates creating a risk mitigation plan to increase transparency when using high-risk systems.

In contrast, the US has only issued non-binding guidelines concerning AI applications, with New York City introducing one of the country's first AI laws aimed at preventing bias in the employment process. With the rise of generative AI and its potential misuse, advocacy organizations are urging the US government to take firmer action.

The UK government has emphasized a "pro-innovation approach to AI regulation." It plans investment of $125m to launch a Foundation Model Taskforce, which is expected to help spur the development of AI systems within the nation.

While acknowledging potential dangers his product could present to jobs and democracy, OpenAI’s Altman proposed that AI companies should be independently audited and licensed to operate by a dedicated government agency.

In conclusion, the rapid adoption of generative AI is accelerating plans for regulation. It remains to be seen how this technology will be managed and how regulation will balance privacy concerns with the potential for innovation and growth.

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