Alphabet CEO promises ‘artificial intelligence pact’, discusses pro-Kremlin propaganda in meeting with top EU officials

  • In a meeting with European Commissioner Thierry Breton, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said Google will work with other companies “on a voluntary basis” to ensure that AI products are developed safely and responsibly ahead of the technology’s formal laws.
  • The European Parliament gave the green light earlier this month to a groundbreaking package of rules for AI, including specific measures for generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard chatbot.
  • In a separate meeting, with European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova, the Google CEO addressed concerns about the spread of pro-Kremlin war propaganda and disinformation.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet.

Source: alphabet

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has committed to the “Artificial Intelligence Charter” and discussed disinformation about elections and Russia’s war in Ukraine in meetings with top European Union officials on Wednesday.

In a meeting with Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Pichai said Alphabet-owned Google will cooperate with other companies in self-regulation to ensure that artificial intelligence products and services are developed responsibly.

“It has been agreed with Google CEO @SundarPichai to work with all major European and non-European players in #AI ​​to develop an ‘Artificial Intelligence Charter’ on a voluntary basis before the legal deadline for AI regulations,” Breton said in a tweet Wednesday. afternoon.

“We expect technology in Europe to respect all of our rules, on data protection, online security, and artificial intelligence. In Europe, it’s not a matter of picking and choosing. I’m glad SundarPichai understands this, and that he’s committed to complying with all EU rules.”

The development hints at how CTOs are seeking to mollify politicians and get ahead of impending regulations. The European Parliament gave the green light earlier this month to a groundbreaking package of rules for artificial intelligence, including provisions to ensure that training data for tools like ChatGPT does not violate copyright laws.

The rules seek a risk-based approach to regulating AI, placing applications of technology deemed “high risk”, such as facial recognition, under ban and imposing strict limits on transparency for applications that pose limited risk.

Regulators are increasingly concerned about some of the dangers surrounding artificial intelligence, with tech industry leaders, politicians and academics raising the alarm about the extent to which new forms of artificial intelligence, such as so-called generative AI and the large language models that support them, are evolving.

These tools allow users to easily create new content—like a William Wordsworth-style poem, or an essay—by giving them instructions on what to do.

They have raised concerns not least because of the potential for labor market disruption and their ability to produce disinformation.

ChatGPT, the most popular AI tool, has accumulated more than 100 million users since its launch in November. Google released its own alternative to ChatGPT, called Google Bard, in March, and unveiled a new, advanced language model known as PaLM 2 earlier this month.

During a separate meeting with Vera Jourova, Vice-President of the European Commission, Pichai committed to ensuring that his AI products are developed with safety in mind.

Both Pichai and Jourova agreed that “artificial intelligence can have an impact on disinformation tools, and that everyone should be prepared for a new wave of threats generated by AI,” according to a readout of the meeting shared with CNBC.

“Part of the effort could go into labeling or creating transparent AI-generated content. Google’s AI models already include safeguards, and the company continues to invest in this space to ensure safe rollouts of new products,” Mr. Pichai stressed.

A statement said Pichai’s meeting with Jourova focused on disinformation about Russia’s war on Ukraine and the elections.

According to a readout of the meeting, Jourova “expressed concern about the spread of pro-Kremlin war propaganda and disinformation, as well as about Google’s products and services.” The European official also discussed access to information in Russia.

Jourova asked Pichai to take “quick action” on the problems faced by independent Russian media that cannot monetize their content in Russia on YouTube. Pichai agreed to pursue the case, according to the statement.

Jourova also highlighted the risks of disinformation to electoral processes in the European Union and its member states. The next elections to the European Parliament will take place in 2024. There are also regional and national elections across the EU this year and next.

However, Jourova applauded Google’s “engagement” in the Mass Disinformation Code of Practice, a self-regulatory framework promulgated in 2018 and amended since, intended to incentivize online platforms to tackle misinformation. However, Jourova said that “more work is needed to improve reporting” in the framework.

Blog signers are required to report how they have implemented measures to address misinformation.

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