EU Tech Chief Urges Swift Adoption of Voluntary AI Code of Conduct

The European Union's tech chief, Margrethe Vestager, has called for the United States and EU to collaborate in urging the artificial intelligence (AI)

The European Union’s tech chief, Margrethe Vestager, has called for the United States and EU to collaborate in urging the artificial intelligence (AI) industry to adopt a voluntary code of conduct within a few months. This code would provide essential safeguards while new laws and regulations are being developed. Vestager emphasized the need for immediate action, as the EU’s comprehensive legislation on AI, known as the AI Act, is expected to take at least two and a half to three years before it becomes effective.

To address the urgency of the situation, Vestager and EU industry chief Thierry Breton have been working towards establishing an AI pact with Alphabet (the parent company of Google) and the European Commission. Their aim is to tackle concerns regarding the societal impact of generative AI, such as ChatGPT, which has the capability to create content autonomously.

The G7 leaders recently emphasized the importance of developing technical standards to ensure trustworthy AI. They called for international discussions on topics such as governance, copyrights, transparency, and the threat of disinformation. Vestager stressed the need for specific agreements rather than general statements and proposed that the EU and the United States take a leading role in driving the process, with the support of close allies.

Vestager highlighted the importance of a swift emergence of a code of conduct that involves not only governments and legislators but also industry stakeholders. This collaborative effort aims to build trust in the development and deployment of generative AI, which is advancing rapidly. By engaging in discussions in the coming weeks and months, society can have greater confidence in the ongoing progress of AI, while ensuring that ethical considerations and societal impact are thoroughly addressed.

The voluntary code of conduct will act as an interim solution to provide guidance and principles for AI development and usage until comprehensive legislation is in place. By encouraging industry participation and global cooperation, Vestager believes that this proactive approach will pave the way for responsible and trustworthy AI practices, fostering public trust and ensuring that AI technologies are developed and deployed in a manner that aligns with societal values and expectations.

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