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EU Lawmakers Scramble to Regulate Generative AI Like ChatGPT

EU lawmakers are rapidly updating regulations in response to the rising interest in generative AI technologies, such as ChatGPT, aiming to address copyright protection and industry transparency.

OpenAI homepage
OpenAI homepage

Generative AI was not a significant focus for EU lawmakers in their initial plans for regulating artificial intelligence technologies such as ChatGPT. However, by mid-April, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) were working to update those rules in response to the growing interest in generative AI. This interest was fueled by OpenAI's unveiling of ChatGPT six months ago, leading to a mix of awe and anxiety.

The scramble to update AI regulation resulted in a new draft of the legislation, identifying copyright protection as a central component of controlling AI. Although the draft bill is not yet final and will likely take years to come into force, it could significantly impact the regulatory landscape for OpenAI and its competitors.

ChatGPT's Unprecedented Growth Spurs Regulatory Action

The impressive growth of ChatGPT, the fastest-growing app in history, and the rising investment in generative AI startups have led EU industry chief Thierry Breton and others to call for regulation of services like ChatGPT. Elon Musk also weighed in, warning of the existential risk from AI and urging for stricter regulations.

EU Proposes Stricter Rules for Generative AI Systems

As part of the proposed changes, companies with generative AI systems must disclose any copyrighted material used to train their models. The new proposal received cross-party support, and the EU is now considering laws that could force greater transparency on the industry.

Generative AI Regulation Debate Continues in the European Parliament

Until recently, MEPs were not convinced that generative AI required special consideration. However, under new proposals targeting "foundation models," companies like OpenAI must disclose any copyrighted material used to train their systems. The committee will vote on the deal on May 11, and if successful, it will move to the next negotiation stage.