AI legal framework needs to promote innovation, senior Google executive says

FILE PHOTO: An illuminated Google logo is seen inside an office building in Zurich, Switzerland December 5, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Rules governing the use of artificial intelligence should support innovation, Google's chief legal officer Kent Walker said on Tuesday, echoing pleas by a wide swath of businesses and tech groups as the European Union races to agree AI rules next month.

EU countries and EU lawmakers are now thrashing out the final details of a draft proposal by the European Commission and aim to get a deal on Dec. 6.

One of the biggest issues is foundation models, such as OpenAI's ChatGPT, which are AI systems that are trained on large sets of data, with the ability to learn from new data to perform a variety of tasks.

Walker said Europe should aim for the best AI rules, not the first AI rules.

"Technological leadership requires a balance between innovation and regulation. Not micromanaging progress, but holding actors responsible when they violate public trust," he said in the text of a speech to be delivered at a European Business Summit.

"We've long said that AI is too important not to regulate, and too important not to regulate well. The race should be for the best AI regulations, not the first AI regulations."

He called for hard trade-offs between security and openness, between data access and privacy, between explainability and accuracy, with proportionate, risk-based rules that build on existing regulations and give businesses the confidence they need to keep investing in AI innovation.

Business group DigitalEurope and 32 European digital associations last week warned the EU against over-regulating foundation models.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Josie Kao)

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