Google’s plan to launch its artificial intelligence chatbot, Bard, in Europe has met a regulatory stumbling block.
Bard’s launch was halted by privacy concerns
The Commission stated that the information provided by Google on protecting the privacy of EU citizens through its new generative AI tool was insufficient.
That deficit has delayed Bard’s EU launch scheduled for this week.
The Irish regulator requires an in-depth review of Bard’s compliance with EU data protection rules.
Google will be subject to ongoing reviews of privacy practices, which will be shared with other European data protection authorities.
The EU regulatory framework for AI systems
The EU proactively regulates AI systems, emphasizing security, transparency and non-discrimination.
The first AI regulatory framework proposed by the EU, known as the AI Act, is on track to become the world’s leading comprehensive law on AI.
This proposed law categorizes AI systems according to their risk to users and assigns corresponding levels of regulation.
The AI Act requires AI systems like Google’s Bard and other generative AI models to meet transparency requirements.
This includes disclosing AI-generated content, ensuring the model does not generate illegal content, and publishing summaries of copyrighted data for training purposes.
The impact of AI law on AI deployments
The AI law passed by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on June 14 is expected to have an impact on the use of AI systems in the EU.
Negotiations on the final form of the law will now begin with EU countries in the Council and aim to reach an agreement by the end of the year.
The strict requirements of the law will shape the future of AI technology in the EU.
As Google’s Bard has shown, tech companies looking to roll out AI tools globally need to keep a close eye on these evolving regulations.
Google’s commitment to responsible use of AI
Despite the setback, Google remains committed to expanding Bard’s availability.
A Google spokesman explained:
“We said in May that we want to make Bard more widely available, including in the European Union, and that we would do so responsibly after consulting with experts, regulators and policymakers.”
Google’s Bard, a competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing Chat, has rolled out in 180 countries since March, including the US and UK
Google’s launch in EU countries is yet to come, however, as strict privacy regulations have already scrutinized generative AI tools like ChatGPT for alleged data abuse and the lack of a law-compliant algorithm.
Postponing the launch of Google’s bard in the EU is not just a setback for Google. It’s a message to all technology companies to take privacy seriously.
The introduction of the AI Act will further tighten the regulations for AI systems and oblige companies to demonstrate their commitment to transparency and data protection.
Sources: Politico, European Parliament
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