Today's Editorial

Today's Editorial - 30 April 2023

AI regulation and bans in EU countries

Source: By Bernd Riegert: Deutsche Welle

Garante, the Italian data protection authority, apparently jumped the gun at the end of March when it imposed a temporary ban on ChatGPT, a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate texts that seem as if they were created by humans, and computer games. The watchdog was less concerned by the use of AI — the simulation of human intelligence by computer systems — than by breaches of data protection legislation.

Garante then told the Microsoft Corp-backed company behind ChatGPT, OpenAI, that it would have to be more transparent with its users about how their data were processed. It also said that the US company had to obtain permission from users if their data were to be used to further develop the software — that is, to help it learn — and that access to minors had to be filtered. In a press release, the Italian authority said that the ban would be lifted if OpenAI met these conditions by 30 April.

An OpenAI spokesperson told the Reuters news agency that it was “happy” that Garante was “reconsidering” the original ban and that it looked forward “to working with them to make ChatGPT available to our customers in Italy again soon.”

EU-wide regulation of AI

Spain and France have also raised similar concerns about ChatGPT. For the moment, there is no EU-wide regulation of the use of AI in products such as self-driving carsmedical technology, or surveillance systems. The European Parliament is still debating legislation proposed by the European Commission two years ago. When it is approved, the EU member states themselves will have to agree, and so it will probably be early 2025 before it comes into force.

However, German MEP Axel Voss, one of the main drafters of the EU’s Artificial Intelligence Act, pointed out that AI was not so advanced two years ago and was likely to develop further over the next two years, “so fast” that much of it would no longer be appropriate when the law actually took effect.

It is not clear whether ChatGPT or a similar product would even be covered by the EU regulation, which defines levels of risk in AI that run from “unacceptable” to “minimal or no risk.” As the legislation stands, only programs assigned scores of “high risk” or “limited risk” will be subject to special rules regarding the documentation of algorithms, transparency and the disclosure of data use. Applications that document and evaluate people’s social behavior to predict certain actions will be banned, as will social scoring by governments and certain facial recognition technologies. Legislators are still discussing to what extent AI should be allowed to record or simulate emotions, as well as how to assign categories of risk.

Voss said that “for competitive reasons and because we are already behind, we actually need more optimism to deal with AI more intensively. But what is happening in the European Parliament is that most people are being guided by fear and concerns and trying to rule out everything.” He added that the EU members’ data protection commissioners wanted AI to be monitored by an independent body and that it would make sense to amend the existing data protection legislation.

Striking a balance between consumer protection and economy

The European Commission and Parliament are trying to strike a balance between consumer protection, regulation and the free development of the economy and research. After all, as the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton has pointed out, AI offers “immense potential” in a digital society and economy.

Two years ago, when the bloc’s AI legislation was presented, he said that the EU did not want to drive the developers of AI away but promote them and persuade them to settle in Europe. He added that the EU should not be dependent on foreign providers and that the data for AI should be stored and processed in the EU.

Mark Brakel from the US-based nonprofit Future of Life Institute told DW that companies also had to be held accountable by regulators. He said that it did not suffice to apply risk levels to AI applications. He suggested that developers themselves should have to monitor the risks of each individual application and that measures should be taken to ensure that “companies are mandated to do this risk management and publish” the results. He added that sometimes companies could not predict today what their AI products might be able to do tomorrow and were sometimes surprised by the results.

“If we are too complicated here, then companies will go elsewhere and develop their algorithms and systems there,” warned MEP Voss. “Then they will come back and use us only as a consumer country, so to speak.”

What is striking about ChatGPT, which is causing a stir in Europe, is that it was developed in the US for global use. OpenAI could soon face stiff competition from other US companies such as Google and Elon Musk’s Twitter. Chinese tech giants are also in the race, with Baidu already having created a chatbot called Ernie. So far there do not seem to be any European chatbots on the horizon.


2521, Hudson Lane Vijay Nagar,
Near GTB Nagar Metro Station, Delhi
Ph.: 97173 80832 | 88605 88805

More Details

Plot No. 48, 1st & 2nd Floor,
Behind Sargam Talkies, Zone 2,
M.P Nagar, Bhopal
Ph.: 75099 75361 | 91798 95361

More Details

111-117, 1st Floor, Veda Building,
Bhawar Kuan Square, Indore
Ph.: 98937 72941 | 0731-497 7441

More Details

A1, 2nd Floor, Mamoor Plaza
Above Airtel Office, 2nd Cross Road, 
5th Block, Koramangala, Bengaluru
Ph.: 76191 66663 | 080-4854 4393

More Details

Ph.: 9289772007

56/4 G. Floor & 32, Old Rajendra Nagar, 
Bada bazaar Road, Near Salwan Public School, 
Gate No.2, Delhi
Ph.: 98112 93743 | 011-4517 0303

More Details

Office No. 42, 2nd Floor, 
OM HEERA PANNA Co-op. Society,
Opp. City International School, Oshiwara,
Jogeshwari (West), Mumbai – 400 102
Ph. 98712 65599 | 882600 2521

More Details

2nd Floor keisamthong Hodam Leirak
Thoudabhabok Machin, 
Imphal West,
Ph.: 96502 45599

More Details

4th Floor, Chinar Heights, 
Near Chinar Colony, Baghat
Dist- Srinagar, J&K- 190005
Ph.: 9871235599

More Details

403-404, Apex Tower,
Lal Kothi, Tonk Road,
Ph.: 82908 00441 | 0141-4052 441

More Details

Above Toyota Showroom,
Exhibition Road, 
Near Gandhi Maidan, Patna
Ph.: 74639 50774 | 0612- 2500 961

More Detail

College More, PTI Building
2nd Floor, Sector - V, Salt Lake
Kolkata, West Bengal 700091
Ph.: 9007709895

More Details

2nd floor, Houses No: 3-6-111/7&6,
Above PUMA Showroom,
Liberty Main Road, Himayatnagar,
Hyderabad – 500 029
Ph. 79960 66663 | 882600 2521

More Details