Artificial Intelligence Act: The EU has made a landmark deal with these tech giants

Artificial Intelligence Act: The EU has made a landmark deal with these tech giants

With the progress that artificial intelligence has been making in the last year, legislation is in a race to catch up with it. We'll explain what impact the recent ruling from the European Parliament will have on AI.

Microsoft and 7 other tech giants have signed a global agreement on AI. The idea is to better assess the impact of products introduced to the market. This is a significant agreement. Microsoft has just committed to building more ethical AI as part of a forum organized in Slovenia by UNESCO, a UN agency. The Redmond-based company is joined by Mastercard, GSMA, Lenovo Group, INNIT, LG AI Research, Salesforce, and Telefonica in this globally impactful initiative.

These companies are aiming to integrate the principles of a resolution adopted in 2021 by several dozen countries under the auspices of the international organisation. The idea is to "guarantee human rights in the design, development, purchase, sale, and use of AI." This is important for the future of AI technology. Companies will have to prove their commitment to transparency in their respective activities and demonstrate that they do not violate human rights. This is the first time that companies of such magnitude have agreed to commit to the UN on such a subject.

Audrey Azoulay, who heads UNESCO, expressed her joy. In November 2021, UNESCO forged a consensus among all its member states to adopt the first global ethical framework for the use of artificial intelligence. Today, we are taking a new important step by obtaining the same concrete commitment from global technology companies. She adds: "I call on all technology players to follow the example of these eight pioneering companies. This alliance of the public and private sectors is essential to harnessing artificial intelligence for the common good."

Indeed, the UN agency is working extensively on the topic of AI to better regulate its societal impacts. For example, there was a recent report proposing, among other things, the definition of a minimum age to use these language models: 13 years old. A threshold that does not have unanimous support. Other experts propose establishing it at 16 years old. In any case, UNESCO believes that these tools can be useful in the educational field.

The announcement of this commitment by the 8 technology companies follows the adoption of a major AI directive by the 27 member countries of the European Union. This text enshrines a certain number of advancements. However, it is not unanimous and has been criticised by some leaders, especially in France and Germany. It will be important to follow any new developments with this law.