Trilateral Agreement Reached on AI Regulation

An important agreement has been reached between Italy, Germany, and France regarding the regulation of artificial intelligence in the European Union. This development, revealed in a joint document viewed by Reuters, marks a crucial moment in European negotiations for defining a regulatory framework around AI.

The three nations have proposed commitments that, while voluntary in nature, are binding on AI providers, both large and small, who decide to adhere to them. This position emerged in the context of discussions between the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council of the EU, focused on how the Union should position itself in this rapidly expanding sector.

The European Parliament had presented the AI Act in June, aimed at mitigating risks associated with AI applications and preventing discriminatory effects, while simultaneously promoting the innovative strength of AI. Initially, the Parliament had suggested that the code of conduct be mandatory only for major AI providers, predominantly American. However, the governments of the three nations highlighted how this distinction could undermine trust in smaller European providers, limiting their market. Therefore, they recommended that the rules of conduct and transparency be mandatory for all providers.

According to the document, immediate sanctions are not foreseen. However, in case of violations of the code of conduct, a sanction system could be introduced. Oversight of compliance with the standards would be entrusted to a European authority.

The agreement comes at a crucial time, as governments around the world are seeking to capitalize on the economic benefits of AI. The UK hosted its first AI safety summit in November. A digital summit by the German government is planned in Jena, Thuringia, to further discuss these issues, followed by Italian-German consultations in Berlin.

The agreement reached between the three largest EU member states will not only significantly influence the Union’s future AI policies, but also reflects the growing awareness of the need for effective and well-considered regulation in a rapidly evolving sector.

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