HOW NATIONS are losing the race to regulate A.I. Lawmakers cannot agree on ways to curtail dangers without curbing innovation.

When European Union leaders introduced a 125-page draft law to regulate artificial intelligence in April 2021 they hailed it as a global model for handling the technology.

E.U. lawmakers had gotten input from thousands of experts for three years about A.I., when the topic was not even on the table in other parts of the world.  

The result was a ''landmark'' policy that was ''future proof,'' declared Margrethe Vestager, the head of digital policy for the 27-nation bloc.


The eerily humanike chatbot, which went viral last year by generating its own answers to prompts, blindsided E.U. policymakers. The type of A.I. that powered chatGPT was not mentioned in the draft law and was not a major focus of discussions about the policy.

Lawmakers and their aides peppered one another with calls and texts to address the gap, as tech executives warned that overly aggressive regulations could put Europe at an economic disadvantage.

Even now, E.U. lawmakers are arguing over what to do, putting the law at risk. 

'' We will always be lagging behind the speed of technology,'' said Svenja Hahn, a member of the European Parliament who was involved in writing the A.I. law.

Lawmakers and regulators in Brussels, in Washington and elsewhere are losing a battle to regulate A.I. and are racing to catch up, as concerns grow that the powerful technology will automate away jobs, turbocharge the spread of disinformation and eventually develop its own kind of intelligence.

Nations have moved swiftly to tackle A.I.'s potential perils, but European officials have been caught off guard by the technology's evolution, while U.S. lawmakers openly concede that they barely understand how it works.

The result has been a sprawl of responses. President Biden issued an executive order in October about A.I.'s national security effects as lawmakers debate what, if any, measures to pass.

Japan is drafting nonbinding guidelines for the technology, while China has imposed restrictions on certain types of A.I. 

Britain has said existing laws are adequate for regulating the technology.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are pouring government money into A.I. research.

At the root of the fragmented actions is a fundamental mismatch. A.I. systems are advancing so rapidly and unpredictably that lawmakers and regulators can't keep pace.

That gap has been compounded by an A.I. knowledge deficit in governments, labyrinthine bureaucracies and fears that too many rules may inadvertently limit the technology's benefits.

Even in Europe, perhaps the world's most aggressive tech regulator, A.I. has befuddled policymakers.

The Essay Publishing continues into the future. The World Students Society thanks Adam Satariano and Cecilia Kang. 


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!