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AI Act: Spanish presidency makes last mediation attempt on foundation models

AI Act: Spanish presidency makes last mediation attempt on foundation models

The Spanish presidency of the EU Council shared a revised mandate to negotiate with the European Parliament on the thorny issue of regulating foundation models under the upcoming AI law.

The AI Act is a flagship bill to regulate Artificial Intelligence based on its capacity to cause harm. The file is at the last phase of the legislative process, so-called trilogues, whereby the EU Commission, Council and Parliament negotiate the regulatory provisions.

EU policymakers aim to finalise an agreement at the next political trilogue on 6 December. Ahead of this crucial appointment, Spain, negotiating on behalf of EU countries, needs a revised mandate.

Euractiv reported the first part of the mandate on the law enforcement chapter, which will be discussed at the Committee of Permanent Representatives on Wednesday (29 November).

The second part of the mandate was circulated on Monday, but the part on foundation models was shared separately on Tuesday evening. It will be discussed at the ambassador level on Friday.

Foundation models

The rules for foundation models and powerful types of Artificial Intelligence like OpenAI’s GPT-4, which powers ChatGPT, have become a sticking point in the negotiations. At the last trilogue, there seemed to be a consensus on a tiered approach to foundation models, with tighter obligations for the most powerful ones.

However, three weeks ago, the negotiations hit the brakes due to mounting opposition from France, with the support of Germany and Italy, to oppose any binding rules for these models other than codes of conduct.

Last week, the Commission attempted to find a midway, proposing horizontal rules for all General Purpose AI (GPAI) models and codes of practices for the top-tier ones. The presidency shared the same Commission text with national delegates with a minor tweak.

However, the EU Parliament united in asking for tighter rules for these models in a working paper revealed by Euractiv. The presidency mostly preserved the Commission’s compromise but introduced some elements from the Parliament’s working paper.

Read the complete article here.

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