An open letter to lawmakers in the European Union was issued by more than 160 executives from tech companies around the world urging careful consideration of artificial intelligence (AI) regulations so as to not stunt the industry or markets. 

On June 30, executives from companies such as Renault, Meta, Spanish telecom company Cellnex and German investment bank Berenberg, pointed to the proposed EU AI Act saying it potentially risks the region’s competitiveness and innovation.

More specifically, it warned that rules proposed by the EU would cause heavy regulation of generative AI tools and incur both liability risks and pricey compliance costs for the companies developing the technology.

Two weeks prior to the letter, on June 14, the European Parliament passed the initial EU AI Act, which includes legislation that would force systems like ChatGPT to disclose all AI-generated content, and other measures against illegal content. 

Additionally, the laws, as they stand now, intend to prohibit the use of certain AI services and products. Total bans were placed on technologies such as the public use of biometric surveillance, social scoring systems, predictive policing, so-called “emotion recognition” and untargeted facial recognition systems.

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Prior to the bill actually becoming law, individual negotiations among parliament members will take place to finalize details of the EU AI Act. This recent letter comes as tech companies still have the time to petition lawmakers for more lenient measures.

The day before the letter was issued, the president of Microsoft paid a visit to Europe to speak with regulators on how to best regulate AI. 

Back in May, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, also spoke with European regulators in Brussels. He issued a warning of the potential negative effects of over-regulation on the AI industry.

The chief of tech for the EU is on record pushing for the EU and the U.S. to come together to create a voluntary “AI code of conduct” to be set in place in the meantime while lawmakers finalize more permanent measures. 

In March, another open letter was issued by over 2,600 tech industry leaders and researchers, including Elon Musk. However then it called for a temporary pause on any further development of AI and asking for regulations. 

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