Transatlantic Section AI – POLITICS

With the help of Derek Robertson

Washington and Brussels are preparing for a future dominated by artificial intelligence. but first they need to get out of each other’s way.

Tech regulators on both sides of the Atlantic are hoping to prevent a split in AI rules like the one that occurred over data privacy, when regulators in Europe got ahead of their US counterparts and provoked all kinds of chaos that continue to threaten transatlantic data flows.

“There is a lot of interest in avoiding segmented approaches,” said Elham Tabassi, head of staff at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Information Technology Laboratory. “This is bad for the market. It’s bad for the economy.”

But regulators in the EU and US already different approaches to the multi-trillion dollar transatlantic technology economy. The EU is moving forward with mandatory AI rules designed to protect privacy and civil rights, while the US is focusing on voluntary rules.

And there’s another fundamental difference: The US wants to promote ethical research and use of the technology, while Europe is focused on potentially banning, restricting, or checking certain lines of code. In other words: while Brussels fears that AI tools could harm people, Washington worries that people developing or using these tools could harm people, and they design their rules accordingly.

Michael Nelson, senior fellow at the Technology and International Affairs Program at the Carnegie Endowment, said the imbalance could see American technology companies lose transatlantic business and Europeans miss out on new technological opportunities.

“You’re going to take the most stringent requirements that a medical application might need and apply them to these general-purpose algorithms that are used all over the place,” Nelson said. “It’s just going to hold everything.”

The two sides don’t start at opposite corners. Victoria Espinel, CEO of the Business Software Alliance and member of the National Advisory Committee on Artificial Intelligence, said: European AI law still under development as well as Incomplete NIST recommendations both seek to weigh the relative risks of AI tools. In both modes, riskier codes or AI use cases are subject to increased scrutiny compared to those considered low-risk. “This is a very important step,” Espinel told me.

But EU plans to directly regulate specific AI codes are haunting their American counterparts. “One size fits all is bad,” Tabassi said. “If I use facial recognition for law enforcement apps, it’s a lot more risky than if I use facial recognition to unlock my phone.” Tabassi said the rules proposed in Europe lack the “context” needed to effectively regulate AI. “You can’t just get one application and mark high, low, or medium risk,” she said.

The American side also argues that the European approach is inappropriate. considering how AI tools work.

“The whole point of machine learning is that you load a bunch of data and the code overwrites itself,” Nelson said. “If you somehow confirm that the code is ethical, and then you run it and it rewrites itself, how do you ensure that it still meets your criteria?”

Nelson and others said EU regulators are increasingly coming to the same conclusion. And while Europe is unlikely to ever fully agree with the US approach, there is optimism that both sides will find enough common ground to avoid a privacy-style breakdown.

Negotiators at the US-EU Trade and Technology Council, which was announced with great fanfare last year, are struggling to find common ground. They have their own work.

Two important events in the crypto world illustrate how regulators and the industry itself can simply move too fast for lawmakers to catch up.

First, after reports last week that the House Financial Services Committee was going to pass a law regulating stablecoins, these plans seem to be shelved. Sam Sutton of POLITICO reported to Pro subscribers that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen raised red flags around one of the key provisions of the proposed bill, arguing that cryptocurrency wallet providers should be forced to keep customer assets separate from the rest of their own assets.

Second, the SEC shook the industry to its core by classifying several Coinbase assets as securities under its insider trading case against one of the employees of the company. Classifying crypto assets as securities would result in them being subject to the same rules and disclosures as traditional financial products, completely reversing an industry that has taken root without federal oversight. Caveat: Cent The Independent Community Bankers of America letter last week senior members of the committee were told the mark-up was “premature” and urged the committee to work with the industry, the SEC and the CFTC.

But as the SEC has already demonstrated, it is this caution and deliberation that forces lawmakers to act reactive rather than proactive when it comes to cryptocurrencies. — Derek Robertson

ByteDance, the Chinese tech giant behind TikTok, is increasingly signaling its desire to compete in an American-run metaverse, despite home country skepticism those.

Last week, FCC filings revealed that Pico, the company’s hardware subsidiary, is planning to release a new headset to compete with the Meta. planned flotilla of which “Pico 4” and “Pico 4 Pro” (not to mention Apple long awaited device). The “Pro” version will have “additional eye tracking and additional face tracking”. The company was also hiring dozens of employees on the West Coast as it expands Pico Studios’ planned content release – part of a broader drive to compete with US companies in the metaverse.

The filing for the new Pico also coincided with reports that ByteDance spent more than $2 million to lobby Congress last quarter in response to lawmakers’ increased attention to Chinese tech companies (and the seemingly imminent passage of a bill aimed directly at competing with them). TikTok filed letter to Republican senators assuring them of its good intentions in June, promising that the company “did not provide US CCP user data and will not [it] if asked.” — Derek Robertson

Stay in touch with the entire team: Ben Schrekinger ([email protected]); Derek Robertson[email protected]); Konstantin Kakaes (ur.[email protected]); and Heidi Vogt ([email protected]). Follow us on Twitter @DigitalFuture.

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