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The EU urges big tech to label AI-generated content

It’s no secret that the launch of generative AI models like ChatGPT and Google Bard has ushered in a new era of AI-generated content, which, in hindsight, is almost indistinguishable from its human-written counterpart. Now, in an effort to address this issue, the European Union (EU) has asked big tech, including Google and Facebook, to label content and images generated by AI.

The EU’s concerns stem from the ongoing Russian AI-generated misinformation campaigns in Eastern Europe, which aim to spread fake information about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with the hope of influencing public opinion. And although the current version of the Code does not require the identification and labelling of deep fakes, Vera Jourova, the EU’s commissioner for values and transparency, highlighted the risks and negative consequences associated with the creation and dissemination of misinformation.

Furthermore, Jourova proposed two possible approaches for integrating measures for AI-generated content into the Code. The first approach involves companies like Google and Microsoft implementing measures to prevent bad actors from using their services to spread misinformation. The second approach focuses on EU countries collaborating with platforms capable of disseminating AI-generated misinformation and developing tools to identify and clearly label such content for users.

“I said many times that we have the main task to protect freedom of speech. But when it comes to AI production, I don’t see any right for the machines to have freedom of speech. And that’s why we want to work further on that also under the Code of Practice based on this very fundamental idea,” said Vera Jourova.

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Twitter is on the verge of substantial penalties

During the same meeting, the EU also issued a warning to Twitter for recently withdrawing from the EU’s voluntary code of practice, putting itself at risk of substantial penalties. Currently, the penalties could amount to up to 6% of the company’s global revenue, potentially resulting in a £145 million fine. Moreover, the company could face a complete ban in the EU if it fails to operate within the desired framework.

“Twitter has chosen the hard way. They chose confrontation. I know the code is voluntary but make no mistake, by leaving the code, Twitter has attracted a lot of attention, and its actions and compliance with EU law will be scrutinised vigorously and urgently,” said Jourova.

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