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AI Act: Federal Government wants to agree to European AI law

The federal government now wants to approve the AI Act. A spokesman for the Ministry of Transport confirmed this to ZEIT ONLINE. There had previously been discussions in the background about the law with which the European Union wants to regulate artificial intelligence. The Transport and Digital Ministry, led by Volker Wissing, reportedly pushed for Germany not to agree to the final negotiated law in Brussels.

In the past few days, a broad alliance of business associations, civil society organizations and scientists called on the federal government not to let the law fail. The main argument: Although it is not perfect, it threatens to get even worse if it is tried again. It is also important for companies to have legal certainty as quickly as possible.

There were apparently differences of opinion, particularly on the question of whether there should be special rules in the law for AI systems like ChatGPT. The governments of France, Italy and Germany spoke out against it, but such provisions exist in the final version of the law. That was probably the reason why Wissing did not want to agree to the law in the meantime. He had repeatedly expressed concerns that such rules could hinder innovation

Under the new law, providers of such technology would have to provide information about how their systems work, for example. Additional obligations apply to particularly powerful systems. Many experts campaigned vehemently for this because, in their view, such AI models could pose risks.

Another point of contention in the discussion about the AI Act is regulations on biometric surveillance. The law, which the EU institutions agreed on in December last year, was intended to create rules for risky applications of artificial intelligence. The law still has to be approved by the EU member states in the Council and then by Parliament.

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