KEY POINTS

  • Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently visited EU
  • EU lawmakers aare debating a new digital policy focussing on AI
  • The first draft of EU's new AI policy is expected to be released Wednesday

Tech company heads are visiting Brussels one after another. After Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple’s senior vice-president for artificial intelligence and machine learning John Giannandrea visited earlier this month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited the city Monday.

The reason that tech giants are lining up to meet EU officials, such as Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, is because they are worried about a new artificial intelligence law that is being debated in the European parliament. The policy is the first-of-its-kind and is made to regulate artificial intelligence.

All tech companies have bet big on AI and the laws are expected to affect how these companies do business in the E.U.

The European Union has been at the forefront, whether it is drafting privacy rules such as a GDPR, protecting consumers’ interests by working out issues such as a mandatory two-year warranty on devices and now it seems that it is assessing the risks of the use of AI and working towards its regulation. The policy is expected to bring stringent measures for the regulation of the use of AI in numerous fields such as healthcare.

A first draft of the policy is expected to be released on Wednesday. Lawmakers will also make recommendations on the European Bloc’s digital policy going forward.

Europe has taken a different view than the U.S. when it comes to regulating tech. Rather than allow unimpeded growth; the EU is putting tech companies under strict scrutiny and regulations. While we may have missed the bus when it comes to regulating social media, the E.U. wants to act in pre-emptory manner when it comes to AI.

Tech giants such as Google have welcomed the effort to regulate AI, but have also expressed concerns over such rules stifling innovation.  The fact also remains that Google and others do not want another anti-trust investigation into their workings, especially after the last one resulted in fines amounting to millions of dollars.

European Union Technology companies are worried about Europe's new AI regulations. Photo: Open Clipart Vectors/Pixabay