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Europe agrees to the first comprehensive AI regulations in history



Europe agrees to the first comprehensive AI regulations in history

The first comprehensive artificial intelligence regulations in history were reached by European Union negotiators on Friday, opening the door for legal supervision of this technology that has the potential to revolutionize daily life and inspire fears of existential threats to humankind.

A tentative political agreement for the Artificial Intelligence Act was signed by negotiators from the European Parliament and the bloc’s 27 member nations, despite significant disagreements on contentious issues such as police use of facial recognition surveillance and generative AI.

Just before midnight, European Commissioner Thierry Breton tweeted, “Deal!” “The EU is the first continent to establish explicit guidelines for the application of AI.”

This week’s protracted closed-door negotiations yielded the outcome; the first round lasted 22 hours, and the second round began on Friday morning.

The pressure was on officials to win support for the flagship legislation politically. However, civil society organizations met it with a cold reception while they awaited the resolution of technical issues that will need to be resolved in the upcoming weeks. They claimed that not enough was done to shield humans from the dangers of artificial intelligence.

Daniel Friedlaender, head of the European office of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, a lobby group for the tech industry, said that “today’s political deal marks the beginning of important and necessary technical work on crucial details of the AI Act, which are still missing.”

When the EU released the first draft of its rulebook in 2021, it jumped ahead of everyone else in the world in the race to develop AI safeguards. However, the recent surge in generative AI has forced European officials to hurriedly update a proposal that was positioned to become a global model.

Brando Benifei, an Italian lawmaker who is co-leading the body’s negotiation efforts, told The Associated Press late Friday that while the European Parliament will still need to vote on the act early in the next year, that is now merely a formality because the deal has been reached.

When asked if it had everything he wanted, he replied via text, “It’s very very good.” “Overall, very good, but obviously we had to accept some compromises.” The proposed law, which would not go into full force until 2025 at the latest, would impose severe fines for infractions of up to 35 million euros ($38 million), or 7% of a company’s worldwide sales.

The ability of generative AI systems, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, to produce text, photos, and music that resemble human speech has taken the world by storm. However, concerns have been raised about the risks that this quickly advancing technology poses to jobs, privacy, copyright protection, and even human life itself.

Though they’re still catching up to Europe, the United States, United Kingdom, China, and international coalitions like the Group of Seven major democracies have now jumped in with their own proposals to regulate AI.

Strong and comprehensive rules from the EU “can set a powerful example for many governments considering regulation,” said Anu Bradford, a Columbia Law School professor who’s an expert on EU law and digital regulation. Other countries “may not copy every provision but will likely emulate many aspects of it.”

According to her, AI businesses that must abide by EU regulations will probably carry some of those duties outside of the EU. “After all, it is not efficient to re-train separate models for different markets,” she said.

The original intent of the AI Act was to reduce the risks associated with particular AI functions according to a risk scale that ranged from low to unacceptable. Legislators, however, pushed for its expansion to include foundation models—the sophisticated systems that serve as the basis for general-purpose AI services like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard chatbot.

These systems, also referred to as large language models, are trained using enormous collections of text and photos that are taken directly from the internet. Unlike traditional AI, which processes data and performs tasks according to preset rules, they enable generative AI systems to produce something original.

The businesses creating foundation models will need to create technical documentation, adhere to EU copyright regulations, and specify the training materials. Extra attention will be paid to the most sophisticated foundation models that present “systemic risks.” This will include evaluating and reducing those risks, disclosing significant events, implementing cybersecurity safeguards, and disclosing their energy efficiency.


Biden, Kishida Secure Support from Amazon and Nvidia for $50 Million Joint AI Research Program



As the two countries seek to enhance cooperation around the rapidly advancing technology, President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida have enlisted Inc. and Nvidia Corp. to fund a new joint artificial intelligence research program.

A senior US official briefed reporters prior to Wednesday’s official visit at the White House, stating that the $50 million project will be a collaborative effort between Tsukuba University outside of Tokyo and the University of Washington in Seattle. A separate collaborative AI research program between Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and Tokyo’s Keio University is also being planned by the two nations.

The push for greater research into artificial intelligence comes as the Biden administration is weighing a series of new regulations designed to minimize the risks of AI technology, which has developed as a key focus for tech companies. The White House announced late last month that federal agencies have until the end of the year to determine how they will assess, test, and monitor the impact of government use of AI technology.

In addition to the university-led projects, Microsoft Corp. announced on Tuesday that it would invest $2.9 billion to expand its cloud computing and artificial intelligence infrastructure in Japan. Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, met with Kishida on Tuesday. The company released a statement announcing its intention to establish a new AI and robotics lab in Japan.

Kishida, the second-largest economy in Asia, urged American business executives to invest more in Japan’s developing technologies on Tuesday.

“Your investments will enable Japan’s economic growth — which will also be capital for more investments from Japan to the US,” Kishida said at a roundtable with business leaders in Washington.

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OnePlus and OPPO Collaborate with Google to Introduce Gemini Models for Enhanced Smartphone AI



As anticipated, original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, are heavily integrating AI into their products. Google is working with OnePlus, OPPO, and other companies to integrate Gemini models into their smartphones. They intend to introduce the Gemini models on smartphones later this year, becoming the first OEMs to do so. Gemini models will go on sale later in 2024, as announced at the Google Cloud Next 24 event. Gemini models are designed to provide users with an enhanced artificial intelligence (AI) experience on their gadgets.

Customers in China can now create AI content on-the-go with devices like the OnePlus 12 and OPPO Find X7 thanks to OnePlus and OPPO’s Generative AI models.

The AI Eraser tool was recently made available to all OnePlus customers worldwide. This AI-powered tool lets users remove unwanted objects from their photos. For OnePlus and OPPO, AI Eraser is only the beginning.

In the future, the businesses hope to add more AI-powered features like creating original social media content and summarizing news stories and audio.

AndesGPT LLM from OnePlus and OPPO powers AI Eraser. Even though the Samsung Galaxy S24 and Google Pixel 8 series already have this feature, it is still encouraging to see OnePlus and OPPO taking the initiative to include AI capabilities in their products.

OnePlus and OPPO devices will be able to provide customers with a more comprehensive and sophisticated AI experience with the release of the Gemini models. It is important to remember that OnePlus and OPPO already power the Trinity Engine, which makes using phones incredibly smooth, and use AI and computational mathematics to enhance mobile photography.

By 2024, more original equipment manufacturers should have AI capabilities on their products. This is probably going to help Google because OEMs will use Gemini as the foundation upon which to build their features.

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Meta Explores AI-Enabled Search Bar on Instagram



In an attempt to expand the user base for its generative AI-powered products, Meta is moving forward. The business is experimenting with inserting Meta AI into the Instagram search bar for both chat with AI and content discovery, in addition to testing the chatbot Meta AI with users in nations like India on WhatsApp.

When you type a query into the search bar, Meta AI initiates a direct message (DM) exchange in which you can ask questions or respond to pre-programmed prompts. Aravind Srinivas, CEO of Perplexity AI, pointed out that the prompt screen’s design is similar to the startup’s search screen.

Plus, it might make it easier for you to find fresh Instagram content. As demonstrated in a user-posted video on Threads, you can search for Reels related to a particular topic by tapping on a prompt such as “Beautiful Maui sunset Reels.”

Additionally, TechCrunch spoke with a few users who had the ability to instruct Meta AI to look for recommendations for Reels.

By using generative AI to surface new content from networks like Instagram, Meta hopes to go beyond text generation.

With TechCrunch, Meta verified the results of its Instagram AI experiment. But the company didn’t say whether or not it uses generative AI technology for search.

A Meta representative told TechCrunch, “We’re testing a range of our generative AI-powered experiences publicly in a limited capacity. They are under development in varying phases.”

There are a ton of posts available discussing Instagram search quality. It is therefore not surprising that Meta would want to enhance search through the use of generative AI.

Furthermore, Instagram should be easier to find than TikTok, according to Meta. In order to display results from Reddit and TikTok, Google unveiled a new perspectives feature last year. Instagram is developing a feature called “Visibility off Instagram” that could allow posts to appear in search engine results, according to reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi, who made this discovery earlier this week on X.

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