A group of 12 MEPs working on the EU’s upcoming AI law is calling for a set of interim rules to monitor the progress of AI systems. They warn that technological progress is “faster and more unpredictable” than expected.
“The recent advent of and widespread public access to powerful AI, alongside the exponential performance improvements over the past year from AI trained to generate complex content, has prompted us to pause and reflect on our work. “, MEPs say in a open letter.
Accordingly, they believe an additional set of interim rules is also needed to regulate the growth and deployment of “powerful” AI for general use.
The signatories therefore call on European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and US President Joe Biden to hold a global AI summit where world leaders can decide on a set of prevailing principles governing the development and use of powerful AI will steer, while ensuring that it is ‘human-centric, safe and reliable’.
MEPs also call on companies and laboratories working on the technology to show a strong sense of responsibility, increase transparency and cooperate with policy makers.
The letter comes at a time when individual EU members are already trying to manage the operation of advanced AI models in the absence of overarching legislation. For example, France, Spainand Italy have opened investigations into OpenAI’s ChatGPT over data privacy concerns – with the latter even imposing a temporary ban.
MEPs warn that political inaction “could widen the gap between AI development and our ability to drive it”, and call for the mobilization of industry, research and decision-makers in Europe and globally. But at the same time, the AI law has been in draft form for almost two years.
According to Reutersthe law is currently being discussed by a parliamentary committee, which hopes to reach a common position by April 26.
Concerns have also been expressed across the Atlantic about the exponential growth of AI. In a open letter by the Future of Life Institute (FLI), over 26,000 signatories — including DeepMind researchers, computer scientist Yoshua Bengio and Elon Musk — AI labs have called for a six-month pause in the development of systems more powerful than ChatGPT’s successor GPT-4.
And while EU members find some of the statements in the letter “unnecessarily alarming”, they agree with the core message: the rapid evolution of powerful AI requires political attention to avoid challenging future scenarios.