Rising Calls for AI Regulations in Europe Sparked by ChatGPT’s Arrival

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In the wake of ChatGPT’s emergence, there is a growing chorus across Europe for stringent regulations on artificial intelligence, aimed at protecting job security. A comprehensive study conducted by Spain’s IE University reveals that a staggering 68% of surveyed Europeans advocate for government-imposed rules to shield employment from the escalating wave of automation spurred by AI.

This figure marks an 18% increase from responses to a similar survey by IE University in 2022, where 58% expressed the belief that AI should be subject to regulation. Dean of the IE School of SciTech, Ikhlaq Sidhu, emphasized that the foremost concern revolves around potential job displacement.

The report, orchestrated by IE University’s Center for the Governance of Change, an institution devoted to applied research in the field of innovation, offers intriguing insights into the prevailing sentiment regarding AI and its governance.

Estonia, however, stands as a notable exception in Europe. A substantial 23% drop from the previous year indicates that only 35% of the Estonian populace supports government intervention in AI regulations.

Broadly speaking, a majority of Europeans favor governmental oversight to mitigate the risks of job losses, underscoring a shifting public opinion towards AI regulation. Sidhu attributes this evolving sentiment to the recent introduction of generative AI products, like ChatGPT, into the market.

On a global scale, governments are actively working towards establishing regulatory frameworks for AI algorithms. The European Union, for instance, is poised to introduce the AI Act, which will adopt a risk-based approach to governing AI, tailored to the specific applications of the technology.

In parallel, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is set to host an AI safety summit at Bletchley Park on November 1st and 2nd, underscoring Britain’s ambition to become the epicenter of AI safety regulation, given its rich history in science and technology.

However, the study from IE University raises concerns about the public’s ability to discern between AI-generated content and authentic material. A mere 27% of respondents expressed confidence in their capability to identify AI-generated fake content. Older citizens demonstrated even greater skepticism, with 52% expressing doubt in their proficiency to make this distinction.

Academics and regulatory bodies are increasingly apprehensive about the potential risks associated with AI-generated synthetic content, which could potentially influence and disrupt critical events, including elections. As the debate on AI regulation continues, the imperative to strike a balance between innovation and safeguarding societal well-being becomes ever more pressing.

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