Stock Groups

China and Europe are leading the push to regulate AI


A robot plays the piano during the Apsara Conference in China on October 19, 2021. China revises its rules for tech while the European Union creates its regulatory framework to control AI. But it is not there yet.

Getty Images| Afp | Getty Images

China and Europe attempt to control artificial intelligence. But, there is a new front that will determine who sets the standard for this burgeoning technology.

The March issue of China rolled out regulationsThe algorithms that generate online recommendations for what to watch, buy or read are the rules.

This is China’s latest attack on tech sectors. It also sets a significant marker for how AI will be regulated.

For some, it wasn’t surprising that China last year began drafting AI regulations. CNBC spoke with Xiaomeng Lu from Eurasia Group, the director of Eurasia Group’s Geo-technology Practice.

China revises its rules for technology, and the European Union continues to work on its regulatory framework. But it is not yet at the end of the road.

Two of the largest economies in the world have introduced AI regulations. This could mean that the AI industry and AI business worldwide are about to experience significant changes.

China’s global strategy guide

China’s AI regulations, and their ability to move first in the process of running large-scale experiments on AI that can be viewed by the rest the world and possibly learn from them are what I see.

Matt Sheehan

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Lu stated, “I think these trends have shifted government attitude regarding this quite some bit to the extent they start looking into other questionable market practices promoting services and algorithms for promoting products.”

China’s actions are notable because of how fast they were implemented compared to the timelines with which other jurisdictions usually work when it comes regulation.

Matt Sheehan from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Matt Sheehan said China’s strategy could be used as a guideline for international law.

He said, “I see China’s AI regulations, and the fact they’re moving first, as essentially running large-scale experiments from which the rest of the globe can potentially learn,”

Europe’s Approach

The European Union continues to work on its rules.

After a hectic few years, the AI Act is now the most important piece of technology legislation.

It has been a busy few weeks. closed negotiations on the Digital Markets Act and the Digital Services ActTwo major regulations will limit Big Tech.

AI Law now seeks to impose all-encompassing framework based on the level of riskIt will also have a profound impact on the product offerings of companies. There are four levels of AI risks: acceptable, unacceptable, minimal, limited and high.

France holds the rotating EU Council presidency has floated new powersNational authorities can audit AI products prior to they reach the market.

The process of defining these categories and risks has been difficult at times. Members of the European Parliament have called for an a ban on facial recognitionIt should not be used in public areas to limit its enforcement. While the European Commission would like to make sure it is available for investigation, privacy activists worry that it may increase surveillance and compromise privacy.

Sheehan said that although the political system and motivations of China will be “totally anathema” to lawmakers in Europe, the technical objectives of both sides bear many similarities — and the West should pay attention to how China implements them. 

While we don’t intend to copy any speech, ideological or speech restrictions that China has implemented in China, there are some similarities in the technical aspects of problems in different countries. It is my opinion that all of us should watch what happens in China from a technical standpoint.

China’s measures are more restrictive, he stated, adding that they also include algorithm recommendation rules, which could limit tech companies’ influence on the public. AI Act is an umbrella effort to unify all aspects of AI.

Lu claimed that companies will find the European approach more difficult because they will need to undergo premarket assessments.

They are testing the products on the Chinese market before they can be introduced to the public.

‘Two different universes’

Seth Siegel (global head of AI, Infosys Consulting) stated that these disagreements could lead to a split in how AI is developed on the international stage.

He said, “If my goal is to develop mathematical models and machine learning, AI, then I will use fundamentally different approaches in China as opposed to the EU.”

He said that China and Europe would eventually dominate AI polices, creating fundamentally different pillars to allow technology to evolve.

Siegel stated, “I believe what we will see is that techniques and approaches are going to begin to diverge.”

Sheehan says that there won’t be any splintering in the AI landscape of the world as a result these diverse approaches.

He said that companies are becoming more adept at adapting products for different markets.

He said that researchers who are sequestered in other jurisdictions pose a greater risk.

Sheehan explained that AI research and development crosses national borders. All researchers have much to share with one another.

“If both ecosystems are cut off between technologists and we ban communication from a technical point of view, I think that presents a far greater threat than having two distinct universes AI, which might end up being very dangerous in the way they interact.”