EU’s new AI rules: Industry opposed to revealing guarded trade secrets


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.