Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan street photography

Japan to shun ‘impossible’ EU AI regulations, leans toward soft approach: report

Japan is eyeing softer regulations for the artificial intelligence (AI) sector, a new report has revealed. While it has pledged to partner with the European Union on AI development, the East Asian country is unlikely to emulate the EU’s tough AI regulations.

The EU has taken the lead in regulating the thriving AI industry with the AI Act. This upcoming law will enforce strict measures on the industry and force AI firms to take a bigger responsibility for collecting, leveraging, and storing the data they train their AI models with. The AI Act has been touted as a global benchmark that other regulators can base their laws on, but as Reuters reports, Japan is taking a different path.

Japan is leaning toward emulating the soft approach the United States has adopted towards emerging technology, an official privy to policy discussions told the news outlet. The aim is to boost the industry and position the country as a major player in the production of the advanced chips AI relies on.

The EU’s rules are “a little too strict,” says Yutaka Matsuo, the chair of Japan’s AI Strategy Council. It’s “almost impossible” to adhere to some of the EU’s AI Act’s requirements, including specifying all the copyrighted material used to train AI models, he added.

“With the EU, the issue is less about how to promote innovation and more about making already large companies take responsibility.”

Japan aims to become a bigger player in the chipmaking industry, bolstered by a thriving local AI sector. The rise of AI has once again revealed how critical chip production is as the sector wholly relies on advanced chips. Currently, the sector is dominated by Taiwan, China, and the United States.

Japan, whose rise to an economic powerhouse relied on taking the lead in emerging technology, has fallen behind in chip production.

“If you increased the GPUs in Japan by 10 times, it would probably still be less than what OpenAI has available,” said Matsuo.

Japan and EU partner on AI

Despite shunning the EU’s tough approach to regulating AI, Japan is set to partner with the economic bloc to promote the industry’s growth.

Thierry Breton, the EU Commissioner for Internal Market, revealed this week he is in Japan to discuss AI cooperation.

“I will engage with [the] Japanese government … on how we can organize our digital space, including AI based on our shared value,” he stated.

While the EU may differ from Japan on the regulatory approach toward the new technology, Breton believes they share similar concerns. An EU-Japan Digital Partnership Council will address these concerns, he said.

“There are things that really are a concern, and I think these things probably should be a concern for any democracy. With like-minded partners and friends like Japan or the U.S., I think it’s important to explain what we did,” Breton told Reuters.

The AI arms race is heating up, with the EU and U.S. recruiting allies in Japan and South Korea. China, on its part, is extending state control over AI. However, most concerns are yet to be addressed, including data integrity, security, and storage. AI companies rely on user-generated data to train their AI models, but none is compensating users for this valuable commodity.

Most of these concerns can be addressed by integrating blockchain technology into AI. A massively scaling network like BSV blockchain can allow AI firms to make micropayments to users for the use of their data, all while protecting its integrity. For European companies, transparency is a key requirement of the AI Act, and BSV blockchain’s transparent public ledger would make it easy to comply.

Watch: Combat IQ harnesses the powers of AI and blockchain

YouTube video

New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.