Will Disagreement Over Foundation Models Put the EU AI Act at Risk?

Dr. Benedikt Kohn is an associate and Lennart van Neerven is a paralegal at TaylorWessing, an international law firm. This article is drawn from an analysis published at the firm’s website and updated to match recent developments. Flags in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Shutterstock Ongoing trilogue negotiations between the European Union Council, Parliament and Commission over the EU AI Act are focused on how the law will be governed and enforced, the use of AI technology by law enforcement and – the topic of this article – the regulation of basic and general-purpose AI. After initial progress with a graduated regulatory approach that provides for stricter requirements for more powerful AI models, the Spanish Council Presidency met with resistance shortly before the planned end of the negotiation cycle on 6 December 2023. To spare their domestic AI companies from some regulation, Germany and France, supported by Italy, are now rejecting comprehensive regulation and are in favor of self-regulation through a code of conduct. This U-turn could jeopardize the entire effort. The European Commission then proposed a compromise text that retains the tiered approach but weakens regulation overall. This text now forms the basis for further deliberations, although resistance is to be expected, particularly from the Parliament. Time is pressing, as a final trilogue is due to take place in December before Belgium takes over the Council Presidency and a new European Parliament is elected in the summer of 2024. Disagreement at this stage could considerably…Will Disagreement Over Foundation Models Put the EU AI Act at Risk?