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UK begins to draft AI regulations focusing on the most powerful language models

Bloomberg is reporting that the United Kingdom has taken a significant step in shaping the future of artificial intelligence (AI), by beginning to draft regulations that will target the most powerful language models, such as those that power OpenAI's ChatGPT. Currently, no bill is seen to be imminent, and the reports are that the British government is likely to wait until after an AI conference due to be hosted in France either later this year, or early in 2025.

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) are reported to be in the early stages of drafting legislation, which will seek to prevent potential harm coming to users of AI. The UK's position on AI has been to avoid moving quickly, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak saying that countries shouldn't "rush to regulate" AI during the first world leaders' summit on AI last year. However, officials in both the DSIT and the Department for Culture, Media & Sport have been suggesting that UK copyright legislation be amended to protect content creators from AI models scraping their content.

Elsewhere, the European Union moved to approve new regulations for AI software and services in December last year, which would be for AI software, services, and the companies that develop and offer generative AI products. The AI Act was passed by the EU parliament on 13th March 2024 and will become law once the member states sign it off.

In the United States, the Department of Justice appointed its first-ever AI officer in February 2024, aiming to provide the department with their expertise and establish a team of technical and policy experts to tackle developing technological issues.

When Bloomberg asked the government if it plans to introduce AI legislation any time soon, the Prime Minister's spokesperson, Dave Pares, re-iterated Sunak's position on the speed of implementation. However they stated that "we've always been clear that all countries would eventually need to introduce some form of AI legislation."

Source: Bloomberg (1, 2)

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