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  • AI Expert Hassan Taher Weighs In on the European Union’s AI Act

    Published on June 27, 2023

    The European Union has taken a significant step toward regulating artificial intelligence with the approval of the EU Artificial Intelligence Act. The legislation, which bans real-time facial recognition and introduces transparency requirements for generative AI tools like ChatGPT, aims to protect human rights and ensure the safe and responsible use of AI technologies. In light of this development, renowned AI expert and author Hassan Taher provides his insights on the EU’s move toward AI regulation, leveraging his background and expertise in the field.

    “I believe that AI technology has the potential to bring about significant positive change in the world, but many people are hesitant to embrace it fully,” Hassan Taher told IdeaMensch. “While some may disagree, I believe that with responsible use, AI can actually make the world a better place for everyone.”

    Hassan Taher Urges Caution

    Hassan Taher is a distinguished AI expert and author who has dedicated his career to advancing the understanding and ethical implementation of AI technologies. With a deep understanding of the potential risks and benefits associated with AI, Taher has been a prominent voice in shaping the discourse surrounding responsible AI development. His extensive knowledge and practical experience make him a respected authority on AI policy and regulations.

    “As AI continues to evolve, it poses unique challenges for lawmakers and regulators who seek to establish a legal framework that governs its application,” Taher wrote in a blog post. “The multifaceted nature of AI necessitates a comprehensive understanding of its potential risks and benefits. While AI holds immense promise, concerns surrounding data privacy, algorithmic biases, and liability have come to the forefront.”

    The EU AI Act: A Step Toward Responsible AI Regulation

    The EU AI Act represents a significant milestone in the global regulation of AI. Its provisions address various risk levels and use cases, ensuring that AI systems are deployed responsibly and don’t infringe upon fundamental rights. The act’s emphasis on risk assessment, transparency, and accountability aligns with Hassan Taher’s advocacy for responsible AI development.

    “Europe has emerged as a frontrunner in promoting the ethical development and use of AI technologies,” wrote Taher, the author of books on the subject including AI and Ethics: Navigating the Moral Maze. “With a deep commitment to safeguarding fundamental rights, the European Union has taken significant steps toward establishing a robust regulatory framework. This framework aims to address the potential risks associated with AI while fostering innovation and long-term sustainability.”

    Impact on High-Risk Use Cases

    The act categorizes certain high-risk use cases, such as employment, border control, and education, imposing stringent safety requirements on AI systems employed in these areas. Taher commends this approach, as it acknowledges the potential consequences of AI applications in critical domains and emphasizes the need for thorough risk assessment and transparency. By doing so, the EU aims to prevent biases, discrimination, and other harms that could result from the use of AI in sensitive contexts.

    While not automatically considering “general purpose” AIs like ChatGPT as high risk, the EU AI Act places transparency requirements and risk assessments on foundation models. Taher recognizes the significance of this provision, as foundation models serve as the basis for various AI systems. By mandating transparency and risk assessments for these models, the EU aims to ensure accountability and mitigate potential risks associated with their application.

    Hassan Taher Addresses Concerns of Powerful AI Models

    One aspect of the EU AI Act that has drawn attention is the absence of specific limits on the computational power used by AI systems. Concerns have been raised about the exponential growth of computational power, which can lead to safety risks. Taher acknowledges the importance of addressing these concerns, as more power generally results in more powerful AI systems. He highlights the need for ongoing research and collaboration to establish appropriate safety measures for AI systems that utilize substantial computer resources.

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    Hassan Taher emphasizes the importance of maintaining the integrity of the EU AI Act during the trialogue negotiations between the European Parliament, the executive branch, and member states. He urges the Parliament’s negotiating team to resist industry lobbying and state overreach, ensuring the act’s vital protections remain intact. Taher advocates for closing any gaps or loopholes that may undermine the act’s effectiveness and extending its provisions to protect individuals at the EU’s borders.

    The EU as a Global AI Regulation Leader

    As the EU becomes a trailblazer in AI regulation, Hassan Taher acknowledges the potential impact of the EU AI Act on global standards. He recognizes the EU’s influential role in setting trends and establishing regulations that often become de facto global standards. With a single market comprising 450 million consumers, the EU provides a strong incentive for companies to comply with its regulations, potentially inspiring other countries to adopt similar frameworks.

    Writes Hassan Taher: “The EU places a strong emphasis on protecting fundamental rights and privacy in the realm of AI. The Artificial Intelligence Act enforces strict safeguards to ensure that AI systems do not discriminate, infringe upon individual rights, or compromise personal data. By incorporating privacy-by-design principles and requiring risk assessments for high-risk AI systems, Europe aims to mitigate the potential risks associated with AI deployment.”

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