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EU Policy. AI Office set-up announced, Lucilla Sioli to be in charge

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The Commission has announced the establishment of a new unit tasked with overseeing the implementation of the AI Act.
Lucilla Sioli, currently serving as Director for AI and Digital Industry within the European Commission, will lead the newly formed AI Office, as announced by the EU executive today (29 May). Sioli, an EU official since 1997, brings extensive experience to her new role.
The AI Office, a reorganization of an existing unit dedicated to AI within the Commission, will comprise five main departments, each headed by a director responsible for ensuring compliance with the AI Act. With a total staff of 140, including experts in technology, law, and policy, the office plans to recruit around 80 additional personnel.
These departments will focus on key areas such as regulation and compliance, safety, excellence and robotics, AI for societal good, and innovation. Additionally, two advisors will provide expertise on scientific approaches and international affairs.
Contrary to previous expectations, the EU executive has expedited the approval of internal restructuring, with appointments and unit establishment scheduled to take effect on 16 June.
The AI Office, an internal department within the Commission, will oversee the enforcement of regulations governing general-purpose AI systems and serve as the central coordinating body for AI policy across the EU. It will collaborate with other departments within the EU executive, its agencies, companies, and the 27 Member States.
As the AI Act is set to officially enter into force in June, companies are gearing up to meet compliance deadlines. Prohibited practices specified in the AI Act will face bans starting in November, with general-purpose AI rules coming into effect in May 2025, followed by obligations for high-risk systems in three years.
The AI Board, comprising the 27 national regulators, will convene for its inaugural meeting in June to assist the AI Office in harmonizing regulations. Member states will have twelve months to appoint formal regulatory authorities before attending these initial meetings.
Recruitment for the AI Office is underway, with the Commission seeking experts from national administrations, as well as legal, policy, and technology professionals, through a recent call for applications.
Source: euronews.com
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EU’s new AI rules: Industry opposed to revealing guarded trade secrets

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New regulations in the European Union (EU) are set to compel companies to increase transparency regarding the data they use to train artificial intelligence (AI) systems, potentially unveiling closely guarded industry practices, reports the Times of India.
Since OpenAI, supported by Microsoft, introduced ChatGPT to the public 18 months ago, there has been a surge in public interest and investment in generative AI. This technology enables rapid generation of text, images, and audio content.
As the AI industry expands, concerns have emerged regarding how companies source data for training their models, particularly whether using content from popular books and movies without creators’ consent constitutes a breach of copyright.
The EU’s new AI Act, phased in over the next two years, mandates stricter regulations while allowing time for businesses to adjust to new requirements. Nevertheless, the practical implementation of these rules remains uncertain, notes the report.
Mandating “detailed summaries”
A contentious provision of the AI Act requires organizations deploying general-purpose AI models like ChatGPT to provide “detailed summaries” of the training data. The newly established AI Office plans to release a template for these summaries by early 2025 after consulting stakeholders. However, AI companies oppose disclosing their training data, arguing it as a trade secret that could unfairly benefit competitors if made public, the report reveals.
In the past year, major tech firms including Google, OpenAI, and Stability AI have faced lawsuits alleging unauthorized use of content for AI training. Despite US President Joe Biden’s executive orders addressing AI security risks, legal challenges regarding copyright remain largely untested, the report adds.
Backlash against OpenAI
Amid heightened scrutiny, tech companies have struck content-licensing deals with media outlets and websites. OpenAI, for instance, has partnered with the Financial Times and The Atlantic, while Google has collaborated with NewsCorp and Reddit.
Despite these efforts, OpenAI drew criticism in March when Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati declined to confirm whether YouTube videos were used to train its video-generating tool, Sora, citing potential violations of company terms and conditions.
Source: business-standard.com
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Picsart teams up with Getty to take on Adobe’s ‘commercially-safe’ AI

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Picsart and Getty Images are joining forces to develop an AI image generator exclusively trained on Getty’s licensed stock content.
According to Picsart, their AI lab is constructing a bespoke model from the ground up to power this tool. It aims to provide the platform’s paying subscribers with the ability to generate images that come with full commercial rights. This initiative seeks to address persistent concerns about potential copyright violations associated with AI-generated content. The Picsart / Getty Images generator is slated for launch later this year and will be accessible through Picsart’s API services.
This collaboration bears similarities to Adobe’s Firefly AI model, initially introduced as a prompt-based image generation tool within Photoshop last year. Adobe has since expanded its integration across various Creative Cloud applications. Adobe’s model also emphasizes commercial safety by training on stock images from Adobe’s own library, along with openly licensed or out-of-copyright content. However, questions remain about the integrity of the training data and user trust in Adobe’s approach.
Getty Images has previously ventured into commercially-focused AI products through partnerships with Bria AI and Runway, and by teaming up with Nvidia to introduce “Generative AI by Getty Images,” leveraging its extensive catalog of licensed images. Adobe’s widespread integration of the Firefly model into popular applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, and Express may pose a challenge for Picsart’s new offering in terms of attracting creatives away from Adobe’s established ecosystem.
Source: theverge.com
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Microsoft to delay release of Recall AI feature on security concerns

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On June 13, Microsoft announced that it will postpone the rollout of its AI-powered feature “Recall” with new computers next week due to privacy concerns. Instead, the tech giant plans to offer Recall for preview to a smaller group later, following feedback and additional testing.
Recall is designed to track various activities from web browsing to voice chats, compiling a searchable history stored on the user’s computer. This allows users to easily retrieve past actions, even months later.
Originally slated for broad availability on June 18 for Copilot+ PC users, Recall will now undergo a preview phase exclusively within Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program (WIP) in the coming weeks. This decision, as stated in a blog post by the Redmond, Washington-based company, underscores their commitment to ensuring a trusted, secure, and reliable experience for all customers.
Copilot+ PCs, introduced in May, feature advanced AI capabilities aimed at enhancing user interactions and productivity. The WIP, a platform for software testing, enables enthusiasts to preview upcoming Windows operating system features.
Microsoft intends to incorporate feedback from the WIP community before extending the Recall preview to all Copilot+ PC users in the near future.
Following the feature’s announcement, concerns over privacy were swiftly voiced on social media, with some users fearing potential surveillance implications. Elon Musk, prominent technologist and billionaire, likened Recall to a scenario from the dystopian series “Black Mirror,” highlighting societal apprehensions about the impact of advanced technologies.
Source: reuters.com

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