Google’s plan to launch its artificial intelligence chatbot, Bard, in Europe has hit a regulatory roadblock.
According to the Irish Data Protection Commission, Google hasn’t provided sufficient details about Bard’s data privacy policies, prompting a postponement of its EU debut.
Bard’s Launch Halted By Data Privacy Queries
The Commission stated that the information presented by Google about its new generative AI tool’s protection of EU citizens’ privacy was inadequate.
This shortfall has delayed Bard’s EU launch, which was scheduled for this week.
The Irish regulator requests an in-depth assessment of Bard’s compliance with EU data protection rules.
Google will be subject to ongoing reviews of privacy practices, which will be shared with other European data protection agencies.
The EU’s Regulatory Framework For AI Systems
The EU proactively regulates AI systems, prioritizing safety, transparency, and non-discrimination.
The first regulatory framework for AI proposed by the EU, known as the AI Act, is on track to become the world’s premier comprehensive law on AI.
This proposed legislation categorizes AI systems based on their risk to users and assigns regulation levels accordingly.
The AI Act requires AI systems like Google’s Bard and other generative AI models to meet transparency requirements.
These include disclosing AI-generated content, ensuring the model doesn’t generate illegal content, and publishing summaries of copyrighted data for training.
The AI Act’s Impact On AI Deployments
The AI Act, adopted by the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on June 14, is expected to influence the deployment of AI systems in the EU.
Negotiations on the law’s final form will now commence with EU countries in the Council, intending to reach an agreement by the end of the year.
The Act’s stringent requirements are set to shape the future of AI technology in the EU.
As demonstrated by Google’s Bard, tech companies looking to roll out AI tools worldwide must pay close attention to these evolving regulations.
Google’s Commitment to Responsible AI Deployment
Despite the setback, Google remains committed to expanding Bard’s availability.
A Google spokesperson stated:
“We said in May that we wanted to make Bard more widely available, including in the European Union, and that we would do so responsibly, after engagement with experts, regulators and policymakers.”
Google’s Bard, a competitor to OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing Chat, has been rolled out in 180 countries since March, including the U.S. and the U.K.
However, Google has yet to launch in EU countries, where rigorous privacy regulations have already scrutinized generative AI tools like ChatGPT for alleged data mishandling and lack of a legally compliant algorithm.
Postponing the launch of Google’s Bard in the EU isn’t just a setback for Google. It’s a message to all tech companies to take data privacy seriously.
The introduction of the AI Act is poised to tighten regulations on AI systems further, requiring companies to demonstrate their commitment to transparency and privacy.
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