Spain will promote the law on artificial intelligence in its presidency of the European Union | technology



Spain will encourage regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) during its presidency of the European Union, which seeks to make the union the first region in the world to set rules on the possibilities and risks of this technology that is advancing by leaps and bounds. The Spanish team, which will take the reins of the Council of the European Union on July 1, will plunge into one of the most complex and decisive issues for the global future, which has already opened heated discussions about the transparency of these technologies, especially generation like ChatGPT. “Spain will do everything it can in the negotiations on regulations on artificial intelligence with the European Parliament, ensuring that they do not undermine innovation, but at the same time protect the fundamental rights of people,” says the working document sent by the Spanish delegation. to the Member States and the leadership of the Council of the European Union, and that EL PAIS was able to consult.

A sign of European – and global – concern about the rapid advancement of AI, especially generative AI, is the fact that Europe and the US proposed, this very week, a voluntary “code of conduct” for companies developing this technology. The idea is that these lines of conduct act as a “bridge” until there is legislation to regulate them. The European Commission itself has proposed some “guidance” for its staff in the field of generative AI.

The Spanish semester at the helm of the Council of the European Union begins three weeks before the general election date to 23 July in Spain. By then, the European Parliament should have defined its stance on AI legislation, as expected during the plenary session in June. With this, the way is open for negotiating a final joint text for the countries and the European Parliament, a task that will fall mainly during the Spanish presidency of the twenty-seven.

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“Generative AI has gone mainstream and made all the headlines, raising global awareness thanks to the benefits it can bring to business efficiency, but also the risks it poses to security, disinformation or respect for people’s rights,” says the European worker, Spain document dated May 30 .

The European Commission introduced a proposal on regulation of artificial intelligence two years ago, and it is now under negotiation in the European Parliament, where MEPs have incorporated proposals such as vetoing “intrusive and discriminatory uses” of this technology, particularly biometric systems in reality. time or later in public. Artificial intelligence and its negative effects on the rights and freedoms of citizens worry members of the European Parliament, especially if it is in the hands of unscrupulous companies or governments.

The government of Pedro Sanchez has encouraged a pilot testing field since last year (sandbox) to agree to a guide to good practices for improving AI implementation and Member States are now committing to submit “preliminary results” of this work. Madrid will also host the so-called General Assembly of the Alliance on Artificial Intelligence in November.

Spain, which speaks in the working document of “reflecting on the importance of developing an ethical and inclusive digitalization,” wants to strengthen the position of the European Union as a reference center to attract start-ups, talent and investment. The goal is to achieve the goal of the 2030 Digital Decade and double the number of unicorns in the European Union, as the Spanish Presidency document confirms.

Europe is seeking a balance between regulating AI, especially generative regulation, and avoiding a framework so restrictive that it causes companies strong in the field to settle in other, less stringent areas. Evidence for the anxiety generated by the issue is the fact that the chair of the commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will be welcoming one of the key public figures in generative AI, Sam Altman, to a closed business meeting on Thursday. The founder of OpenAI, the company that created ChatGPT, had already met Sanchez at the end of May, as part of his European tour which also took him to the Swedish city of Lulea on Wednesday, where the people in charge of the competition The United States and the European Union agreed to propose a “code Behavior” voluntary sector in the coming weeks.

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Although no details were provided by Lulea, community sources explained to EL PAÍS that the aim is to “invite AI companies active in the EU market to seek early implementation of key points of the AI ​​law” once the European Parliament has given final approval to its negotiating position, As the council did in December. Thus, companies will agree to submit these key points to legislation “voluntarily” and before they become mandatory, once the regulations go into effect, which could take up to a year or more, the sources say.

The idea behind this is that the progress of generative AI is so rapid that it dictates short-term measures that cannot wait for European law on the matter — or law that other countries might be preparing — to be finalized and implemented. For this reason, it is necessary to “promote, at a global level, barriers, especially for generative AI or advanced models of general-purpose artificial intelligence (IAPG) that present new and serious challenges for society that must be urgently addressed,” the sources say.

In this sense, they recall that at the G7 summit in Hiroshima, the leaders of the world’s seven most advanced economies concluded, as stated in their closing statement, that they should “advance discussions on the overall governance and interoperability of AI”. To achieve our shared vision and shared goal of trustworthy AI, in line with our shared democratic values.”

Committee mentors

The Commission itself has issued some “guidance” to its staff regarding the use of “generative AI tools” available online, with a view to “evaluating the risks and limitations” of these tools and establishing a series of “conditions” for “safe use” – which is not prohibited – within its framework within The European Executive, according to the internal document of community officials that this newspaper was able to consult.

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Among other things, this guide prohibits UNHCR staff from sharing any personal data or information that is not already in the public domain using a generative AI model. The documentation states that the reason is that these models “may produce erroneous or biased responses”. For this same reason, community staff should “critically evaluate” any response made by GAI, as well as bear in mind that this type of material can infringe intellectual property rights. Above all, community workers are urged to avoid at all times using synthetic AI-generated material to create community scripts, “especially those that are legally binding”.

In the current semester, Spain will also integrate relations with Latin America and the Caribbean in almost all of its files, including telecommunications, and will try to strengthen the implementation of the EU-Celac Digital Alliance, to strengthen digital links with the main countries of Latin America and the Sea region. caribbean. In addition, within the framework of the new strategy with which the European Union seeks to get closer to the region – which includes the EU-CELAC summit in July, in Brussels one of the most important meetings of the entire semester – the Spanish presidency seeks to encourage access to bilateral investment packages to promote ” Human-centered and rights-oriented digital transformation.

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