back to article EU running in circles trying to get AI Act out the door

The European Commission is entering 11th-hour negotiations to hammer out legislation governing the development and use of AI in time to retain its position as first mover on AI rules. Talks between EU member states are set to start this afternoon and could go well into the night as representatives struggle to resolve their …

  1. Tron Silver badge

    The EU is not the centre of the universe.

    Companies will migrate to lighter touch nations. The EU, big as it is, can be locked out of tech if necessary.

    The next killer app may well be a way to wall your software into specific localities using ISP checks or (for apps) GPS. The ISP checks mean that software can be downloaded using a VPN, but once it starts working, it would turn itself off if it finds itself installed where it is banned from use. Depressing, eh?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The EU is not the centre of the universe.

      And what is that killer app going to kill?

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: The EU is not the centre of the universe.

      Of course it isn't the center of the Universe. It's not pretending to be.

      However, it is a market of over 350 million consumers. If you want to lock yourself out of that, feel free, but know that your competition might not.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: The EU is not the centre of the universe.

        All your down votes think that it should be handled like Google does, and post everyone a message; "Your version of Intelligence is no longer supported, upgrade to a new brain immediately"

        I'm checking my jacket pocket for my spare brain. Oh dear, the battery needs replacing!

  2. Simian Surprise

    First to legislate?!

    I know how "first to market" can be a competitive advantage in commercial situations, but are they really so full of themselves to think they have to be the first to write the laws on something?

    Is the hope to set expectations for other countries' own laws? Despite what the EU thinks, I doubt the US (e.g.) is going to decide to go along with Europe just because they got it out the door first.*

    So now we've got legislation coming on a topic which has been developing for years (and months already at the level of hype we're dealing with) and it's important enough to miss bedtime for? We're not signing a war-ending treaty, people, go home and have a glass of wine and come back tomorrow.

    I guess the upshot for the rest of the world is that the EU will show us what the worst regulatory cock-ups will be.

    * (But compare CCPA and other non-European privacy-protection schemes, for instance: GDPR was significantly better thought out than I expect this to be, and jurisdictions passing "copycat" legislation had the benefit of watching what jappened with GDPR before nailing down their rules. So maybe this is for the best for everyone else.)

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge

      Re: First to legislate?!

      Came here to write the same thing.

      The best I can come up with is that the EU is probably a sufficiently large block that getting decent regulation out the door first will shape what the tech companies will do with their AI offerings and grasp the narrative early, before other countries that have more lax rules about what can happen with personal data shape it first.

      Therefore it feels like it's not about what regulation the US puts in place after the EU sets its own regulation up, but to get the places working on various AIs to play ball appropriately.

      The thing that's most interesting to me is how language affects availability of AI products. This isn't a situation like GDPR where an EU citizen is an EU citizen, this is a situation where an AI is probably going to be more fluent in English or Chinese than in French, German, Spanish, Portuguese etc etc. Now that the EU doesn't have a major (Sorry, Ireland) country where the official language is English, it's possible that non-english speakers will have been somewhat insulated from the majority of raw text data grabs used to train the LLMs.

      tl;dr: EU is a big enough block that companies will probably think its worth it to work within reasonable EU regulations, but that depends on whether the e.g. Swedish market is big enough for an AI worth developing in that language in the first place.

      1. Mike 137 Silver badge

        Re: First to legislate?!

        "a situation like GDPR where an EU citizen is an EU citizen"

        Under the GDPR the person protected is "in the Union", not "an EU citizen". So anyone present in the Union (even temporarily) is protected, whatever their citizenship, while they are present in the territory. So it includes all transients, migrants and tourists.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: First to legislate?!

      I have to agree that I don't see the point in this pseudo-race.

      I don't care if you're first to legislate, I care that the laws you make a good. You can be the tenth to have made the law, if yours is the best, it's the one everyone should use.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: First to legislate?!

        "I care that the laws you make a good."


        "You can be the tenth to have made the law, if yours is the best, it's the one everyone should use. the ship will already have sailed"

      2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Puppet Masters Rules End at the Start of a New Beginning

        Here is something outrageous you may like to factor into your deliberations for future considerations, Doctor Syntax and Pascal Monett.

        Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. ...... Mayer Amschel Rothschild

        I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country... corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. ..... Abraham Lincoln

        Just a couple of old quotes of great impertinent pertinence today, with more than just a few more impossible to dismiss as pure fiction whenever even slightly correct, let alone in fact an absolute gospel truth, freely available for your casual perusal and future enlightenment for palaces and places, spacers and spaces from such as here .......

  3. codejunky Silver badge


    "While the EU wants to lead the world in law, other jurisdictions such as the UK and US are set to adopt a lighter touch to regulating AI."

    Nice to see positives of brexit being mentioned on these pages.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      What positives, harrumph?

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Just in case it is not to be reported URPWND, and you are missing it ....

    And if you think the likes of any NSA/UKGB Networking IntelAIgent type services, hailing from whatever other foreign and alien lands as would be/might be intriguing and interesting, are ever going to be bound by restrictive legislative regulations dreamt up by anyone ..... or any thing even ChatGPTish nowadays ...... then you really do have to wake up and smell the coffee/Java/Cocoa and get out more, for you're being left way behind in a diseased and exploding space place which all with any real common sense at all are happily racing away from to be led by forces and sources never ever before freely thought and realised almightily possible down and around everywhere on Earth.

  5. TeeCee Gold badge


    Not content with their record of myopic, obsolete and downright idiotic tech legislation, they're now going to rush this one through just so they can get F1rst P0st?

    I can't help thinking that the Muppets would do a better job.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So.

      Well, did Boris do a better job?

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