Europe eventually joins the Chat GPT paranoia party

Following moves by Italy and Spain, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has sprung into action by thinking about creating a task force to look into generative AI.

Europe seems to be focusing its concerns about generative AI platforms like Chat GPT on the data protection implications. Italy has led the way in this respect, with its Garante agency insisting the OpenAI, the company behind Chat GPT, introduce a bunch of data protection measures before it will be allowed to operate there.

Soon after, the Spanish data protection agency called upon the EDPB, which seems to be the umbrella group for such national agencies within the EU bloc, to do something. The EDPB responded with a brief afterthought at the end of a boring announcement concerning GDPR enforcement, that is has ‘decided to launch a dedicated task force to foster cooperation and to exchange information on possible enforcement actions conducted by data protection authorities’ regarding Chat GPT.

This represents a characteristically sluggish engagement of first gear by the EU, which likes to have a good old think, ideally over many long lunches, before actually doing anything. It stands in contrast to the two superpowers the EU likes to compare itself to – the US and China – which have been far more decisive on this matter. On the other hand the UK, which is no longer compelled to tow the EU line, seems to think a more laissez faire approach is preferable.

Meanwhile Amazon continues to ramp its AI activities, perhaps spurred on by the head start achieved by many of its Big Tech competitors. At the same time as opening is generative AI startup incubator scheme yesterday, AWS announced new tools that enable its customers to build generative AI on the platform.

This represents a different approach to Microsoft and Google, which seem mainly focused on using AI chat bots to augment their browsers and search offerings, AWS is offering to do a lot of the AI heavy lifting (foundation models – FMs) for its customers and has therefore named the service Bedrock.

“Today we are excited to announce Amazon Bedrock, a new service that makes FMs from AI21 Labs, Anthropic, Stability AI, and Amazon accessible via an API,” blogged Swami Sivasubramanian of AWS. “Bedrock is the easiest way for customers to build and scale generative AI-based applications using FMs, democratizing access for all builders.”

As you can see, AWS is already making full use of some smaller AI firms and clearly plans to expand that activity. If they haven’t done so already, expect Microsoft and Google to unveil similar offerings for their public cloud platforms. The genie is very much out of the bottle when it comes to generative AI and it seems unlikely that even the most efficient regulatory bodies will be able to do much about it, let alone the EU.


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