Apple, Google, Facebook lobby EU over AI regulation plans

Posted:
in General Discussion
Senior Artificial Intelligence executives from technology firms, including Apple, are in Brussels to make their case as the European Union aims to set regulations on artificial intelligence that could drastically affect machine learning globally.

An Apple engineer testing a Machine Learning feature (source: Apple)
An Apple engineer testing a Machine Learning feature (source: Apple)


Apple's John Giannandrea, senior vice president of Machine Learning and AI Strategy, is in Brussels as European Union officials begin planning regulations for Artificial Intelligence. Separately, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has been to the city, and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has arrived specifically to talk with Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president of the European Commission.

According to the New York Times, these AI leaders and other executives are there to present the concerns of their technology companies. The European Union is to debate a policy that would see rules set in place for how firms can and cannot use AI.

While the EU's rulings can only be applied to its member states, increasingly the work of the Commission has effectively set standards globally. Though its privacy laws and the penalties it has imposed on companies such as Google, the EU has seen other countries adopt its rules or similar ones.

Vestager is due to publish a first draft of the artificial intelligence policy on Wednesday. It will also be accompanied by broader recommendations for the EU's regulation of AI in the future, though both documents will then be debated by the Commission throughout the rest of 2020.

Apple's John Giannandrea
Apple's John Giannandrea


Neither Apple nor Facebook have commented on the policy plans, but Google's Pichai said during his January visit to Brussels that regulation was needed, yet could stifle innovation.

"While AI promises enormous benefits for Europe and the world, there are real concerns about the potential negative consequences," he said. Mr. Pichai said. "The ability of European industry to adopt and adapt AI for its needs is going to be very critical for the continent's future," he said. "It's important to keep that in mind."

Vestager has said that those negative consequences may come from how AI uses data reservoirs, vast amounts of information that must be controlled through privacy protections.

The European Commission has said that it welcomes the technology leaders, and Vestager added that she was curious to hear Mark Zuckerberg's ideas about AI, but would not wait to act.

"We will do our best to avoid unintended consequences," she said. "But, obviously, there will be intended consequences."

John Giannandrea was previously at Google until 2018. It's believed he was hired by Apple initially to work on Siri and Apple's self-driving car program.

Margrethe Vestager has previously fined Apple billions over tax issues, and is involved in investigating Spotify's complaints about Apple Music.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    EU requirement: No machine must be more intelligent than an EU bureaucrat. 
    JWSCviclauyyclkruppSpamSandwichelijahgbshankjony0
  • Reply 2 of 10
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 5,928member
    "and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has arrived specifically to talk with Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president of the European Commission."

    I wonder who of the two will go armed with a cross, stake and garlic! 
    edited February 2020 rotateleftbytegatorguybshank
  • Reply 3 of 10
    How about going biological? Would adding gel-packs to my MacBook Pro be considered 'artificial'? I'd have to consider the common cold and the need to administer flue shots though.......
    edited February 2020
  • Reply 4 of 10
    If (and it is a big one) Apple were to say something like...

    We will limit the machine learning to the device that the customer uses (as in their iPhone or MacBook etc) and not network it all.

    They could separate themselves from Google and Facebook who will make a huge AI with the sole aim of ruling the world given half the chance.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    I don’t support the existence of the European Union but I fully support regulations on AI just like there should be for genetic engineering. We as people want to play ‘god’ just because we can, but we’re not and will never be smart enough to create substantial life in a stable and useful way. The end result will be eventual destruction (large or small scale, I don’t necessarily mean the end of the world).
  • Reply 6 of 10
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,245member
    If (and it is a big one) Apple were to say something like...

    We will limit the machine learning to the device that the customer uses (as in their iPhone or MacBook etc) and not network it all.

    They could separate themselves from Google and Facebook who will make a huge AI with the sole aim of ruling the world given half the chance.
    Too late, Google is already well on the way to machine-learning taking place on the device the customer uses. At the moment they're further along than Apple is.
    https://ai.googleblog.com/2019/12/the-on-device-machine-learning-behind.html
    https://bdtechtalks.com/2019/05/13/google-assistant-on-device-machine-learning/
    https://www.theverge.com/2020/1/14/21065141/google-coral-ai-edge-computing-products-applications-cloud

    Google is far more interested in protecting personal privacy, separating the identifiable person from the Advertising ID number, than you seem to have any clue about. IMO it took Apple making privacy into a marketing advantage and several years of beating the "privacy drum" (thank you Apple),  but Google got the message some time ago and has made massive changes in the last couple of years. Users simply are more cognizant of data collection and privacy. While most probably don't care all that much the ones that do are speaking loudly. IMHO kudos are due Google's new CEO. 
    https://blog.chromium.org/2020/01/building-more-private-web-path-towards.html
    https://www.wired.com/story/android-10-privacy-security-features/

    edited February 2020
  • Reply 7 of 10
    avon b7 said:
    "and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has arrived specifically to talk with Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president of the European Commission."

    I wonder who of the two will go armed with a cross, stake and garlic! 
    Garlic isn’t allowed on planes as a courtesy to lawyers, and won’t make it through customs.  Crosses don’t work unless they’re super pointy.  Stakes are effective, but Marks shipping coffin isn’t made out of wood... after the splinter incident of 1361.  Blood money exchanges are how things get done... the pasty ones are civilized (after all) and will bite your head off if you suggest otherwise.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    georgie01 said:
    I don’t support the existence of the European Union but I fully support regulations on AI just like there should be for genetic engineering. We as people want to play ‘god’ just because we can, but we’re not and will never be smart enough to create substantial life in a stable and useful way. The end result will be eventual destruction (large or small scale, I don’t necessarily mean the end of the world).
    Bring on the genetic engineering and speciation!  

    I’d like to order a secondary brain, my primary has bandwidth limitations...  and keeps running low on storage, resulting in data corruption.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    They want to regulate something which does not yet exist? How brave of them.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    ElCapitan said:
    EU requirement: No machine must be more intelligent than an EU bureaucrat. 
    Problem: this requirement was exceeded decades ago. :wink:
    ElCapitan
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