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Tech companies call for introduction of AI regulations


Major technology companies have called on politicians to regulate artificial intelligence.

Appearing before TDs and senators on the Oireachtas Enterprise Committee, representatives from Amazon, Google and Microsoft spoke of the negative and positive impacts that the technology might have.

Kieran McCorry, National Technology Officer of Microsoft Ireland, told committee members that, at present, there is little evidence of significant negative employment effects due to AI.

However, he said that appropriate “guard rails” have to be introduced.

“Elected legislators and appointed regulators should set out the guard rails and as an industry we must respond substantively and be part of that conversation,” he said.

Misinformation and disinformation were also spoken about.

Head of Public Policy for Artificial Intelligence at Amazon Sasha Rubel told members that the industry is looking at possibly introducing a “watermark” for content to combat deepfakes.

She also said that AI could be used to detect and remove child sexual abuse material online.

Ms Rubel told members that the regulatory environment has to provide certainty, adding that responsibility and innovation can go “hand in hand”.

Ryan Meade, Public Policy and Government Relations Manager at Google Ireland, said the company was approaching AI “boldly and responsibly”.

He said that AI offered many benefits and opportunities to people.

“We must continue to invest in people, education and training programmes that help workers and small businesses of all backgrounds learn to use AI effectively,” Mr Meade told members.

Meanwhile, the European Union announced the creation of an “AI Office” of tech experts, lawyers and economists to regulate artificial intelligence which companies will have to comply with by 2026.

However rules covering AI models like ChatGPT will apply 12 months after the law becomes official.

“The AI Office aims at enabling the future development, deployment and use of AI in a way that fosters societal and economic benefits and innovation, while mitigating risks,” the European Commission said.


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