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‘We need to act now’: European tech chief wants EU-US AI code of conduct

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The European Union (EU) and the United States are inching closer to a code of conduct for the artificial intelligence (AI) industry. The EU’s tech chief recently stated that despite big leaps with the AI Act, a more immediate solution is needed as adoption spikes.

Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission vice president for media and tech, said the code of conduct could be drawn in the next few weeks. She added that the U.S. and European Union would push AI companies to adopt the new voluntary code as they await formal regulations like the upcoming AI Act in Europe.

“Everyone knows this is the next powerful thing. So within the next weeks, we will advance a draft of an AI code of conduct,” Vestager stated, speaking to the media after an EU-U.S. Trade and Technology Council meeting.

The EU is spearheading regulations for the budding industry with its AI Act. As CoinGeek reported, two key committees in the European Parliament voted for the Act last month. It’s set to face the parliamentary ballot in mid-June, but experts expect it to sail through. While some, like OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, have opposed the bill, it’s seen as the greatest leap toward policing the sector.

However, the tech chief says even the AI Act can’t take effect fast enough.

“In the best of cases, it will take effect in two and a half to three years time. That is obviously way too late. We need to act now,” she said before the meeting in Sweden.

In its statement after the meeting, the EU-U.S. council said it had formed expert focus groups on AI. They will work on fostering cooperation on AI standards and monitor and respond to existing and emerging AI risks.

These commitments aren’t enough, Vestager says. She wants the EU and the U.S. to agree on specifics before AI blows up.

Meanwhile, OpenAI, the industry leader and ChatGPT maker, is seeking to contribute to formulating regulations for the industry. It recently offered 10 grants worth $1 million each to teams developing the best AI governance ideas.

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