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Big tech companies are already lobbying to relax European AI rules



EEuropean lawmakers are putting the finishing touches on a set of broad rules designed to govern the use of artificial intelligence that, if passed, would make the EU the first major jurisdiction outside of China to adopt targeted regulation of AI. This has made the forthcoming law the subject of fierce debate and lobbying, with opposing sides fighting to have its scope either expanded or narrowed.

Legislators are close to agreeing on a draft law, Financial Times informed last week. After that, the law will move on to negotiations between the member states of the bloc and the executive branch.

The EU AI law is likely to ban controversial AI uses such as social scoring and facial recognition in public places, and force companies to declare whether copyrighted material is being used to train their AI.

The rules could set a global bar for how companies build and deploy their AI systems, as it may be easier for companies to comply with EU rules globally than to build different products for different regions—a phenomenon known as the “Brussels effect.”

“The EU AI law will definitely set the regulatory tone: what does comprehensive AI regulation look like?” says Amba Kak, executive director of the AI ​​Now Institute, a policy research group based at New York University.

One of the Act’s most contentious points is whether the so-called “general purpose AI” – on which ChatGPT is based – should be considered high risk and thus subject to the strictest rules and penalties for misuse. On one side of the debate are big tech companies and a conservative bloc of politicians who have argued that defining general purpose AI as “high risk” will stifle innovation. On the other, a group of progressive politicians and technologists who argue that excluding powerful general-purpose artificial intelligence systems from the new rules would be akin to accepting social media regulation that does not apply to Facebook or TikTok.

Read more: Artificial intelligence from A to Z

Those who call for the regulation of general purpose AI models argue that only the developers of general purpose AI systems have a realistic understanding of how these models learn and therefore the bias and harm that can result. They say the big tech companies behind AI — the only ones that can change how these general-purpose systems are built — will be exonerated if the burden of AI security is shifted to smaller companies downstream.

in the open letter published earlier this month, more than 50 AI institutions and experts spoke out against the removal of general purpose AI from EU rules. “Considering [general purpose AI] how low risk frees the companies at the heart of the AI ​​industry to make critical choices about how these models are built, how they work, and who they work for during development and calibration. ,” says Meredith Whittaker, president of the Signal Foundation and signer of the letter. “This will free them from scrutiny, even if these general purpose AIs are the core of their business model.”

Big tech companies like Google and Microsoft, which have invested billions of dollars in AI, are opposing these proposals, according to a report by the Corporate Europe Observatory. Lobbyists argue that only when general-purpose AI is applied to “high-risk” use cases — often by smaller companies using them to build more niche applications — does it become dangerous, the Observatory says. report states.

“General purpose AI systems are not target dependent: they are generic in design and do not pose a high risk in and of themselves, as these systems are not designed for any specific target,” Google claims in a document that was sent to the commissioners’ offices. EU in the summer of 2022, which the Corporate Europe Observatory received on freedom of information requests and made public last week. According to Google, classifying general purpose artificial intelligence systems as “high risk” could harm consumers and hinder innovation in Europe.

Microsoft, OpenAI’s largest investor, has made similar arguments through industry groups of which it is a member. “There is no need for the AI ​​Act to have a dedicated section on GPAI. [general purpose AI]”, industry group letter signed by Microsoft in 2022. “GPAI software vendors cannot exhaustively guess and anticipate the AI ​​solutions that will be built from their software.” Microsoft has also lobbied for the EU’s AI Act, which “unduely burdens innovation”, through The Software Alliance, an industry lobbying group it founded in 1998. arguesmust be “assigned to a user who may expose general purpose AI to exploitation risk”. [case]”, and not the developer of the general-purpose system itself.

A Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment. Google representatives did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.

Read more: The AI ​​arms race is changing everything

The EU AI law was first drafted in 2021, at a time when AI was mostly narrow tools applied to narrow use cases. But over the past two years, major tech companies have begun to successfully develop and launch powerful “general-purpose” artificial intelligence systems that can perform innocuous tasks like writing poetry while at the same time capable of much riskier behavior. (Think of OpenAI’s GPT-4 or Google’s LaMDA.) Under the prevailing business model that has since emerged, these large companies license their powerful general-purpose AI to other businesses, who often tailor it to specific tasks and make it available to the public through application or interface.

Read more: The new Bing with artificial intelligence threatens users. It’s not funny

Some argue that the EU has put itself in a stalemate by structuring the AI ​​Law in an outdated way. “The main issue here is that the whole way they structured the EU law many years ago was to have risk categories for different uses of AI,” says Helen Toner, OpenAI board member and director of strategy at Georgetown. university. Center for Security and New Technologies. “The problem they’re having right now is that large language models – general purpose models – don’t have a built-in use case. It’s a big shift in how AI works.”

“Once these models are trained, they are not trained to do anything in particular,” says Toner. “Even the people who make them don’t really know what they can and can’t do. I expect it will probably be years before we really know everything GPT-4 can and can’t do. This is very difficult for a piece of legislation that is built around classifying AI systems according to levels of risk based on their use case.”

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You can now pre-order the Rodina anthology



On January 24, 2003, Tom Ridge was sworn in as First Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Over the next 20 years, the new agency proved chaotic, bizarre, and sometimes utterly brutal—a humiliating disaster for the officials it hired, as well as the Americans it watched, rescued, aided, mistreated, or frisked.

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Paralympic TikTok Account Controversy Explained: NPR



The Paralympics TikTok account combines sports footage with viral audio to showcase athletes. But critics of the compilations posted on Twitter say he’s mocking them instead.

Paralympic Games/TikTok

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Paralympic Games/TikTok

The Paralympics TikTok account combines sports footage with viral audio to showcase athletes. But critics of the compilations posted on Twitter say he’s mocking them instead.

Paralympic Games/TikTok

The next Paralympic Games are over a year away, but they are in the spotlight thanks in large part to their official – and controversial – TikTok account.

The account, which has more than 3 million followers, publishes vivid videos about Paralympic athletes: world-class athletes with disabilities that fall into 10 categories including limb failure, impaired muscle strength, and visual impairment.

Some of the Paralympic TikTok explain how equipment and fixtures work for different sports, such as blind football penalty or help setting up a bocce ball. Most are set to viral sounds or social media songs, and many show athletes falling or crashing into each other.

One video reproduces footage of Australian cyclist Darren Hicks, who had his right leg amputated after a crash, winning the gold medal in the Tokyo 2020 time trial. The sound is a popular TikTok song that has been altered so the only word heard is “left.” The video got 4.8 million likes.

A slow motion the fall of a basketball player in a wheelchair with his back to the floor is accompanied by Family Guy version from “Walk Like an Egyptian” (“My back hurts from the chair I’m sitting in… if I lay down on the floor it usually sort of heals”). In the other, the sounds of the electronic game “Bop It!” play as blind and visually impaired swimmers knocked on the head with foam-tipped rods, which the account explains is that they are notified when they are approaching a wall.

Many of the videos have racked up millions of likes and tons of comments from incredulous viewers who obviously can’t believe they’re seeing what they’re seeing from a verified account. (Other comments, both from the account and other viewers, focus on the sport and the exploits of the athletes.)

The TikTok account has been active for many years. But it sparked outrage last week after several popular Twitter accounts, including Barstool Sports, common compilations.

Many criticized the social media account for what they felt was bullying the athletes and downplaying their accomplishments. describing it as “disrespectful”, “evil”, “rude”, and “ableism for looks”. There were calls for shooting who is behind it.

“It’s a little strange that the official [sic] There are so many videos on Paralympic TikTok that make fun of their athletes.” reads the tweet by a user named Yasmin. It has received over 178,000 likes and almost 11,000 retweets.

She also shared side by side compilation videos from the Paralympic and Olympic Games accounts – the latter showing athletes training, competing and receiving medals – to draw attention to the perceived difference in tone.

Disability rights advocate Imani Barbarin said on Twitter that the video of the Paralympic Games “has no voice and no perspective”.

“Not only that, but if you use certain audios with people with disabilities, the context changes almost completely…and it’s the whole page,” she added.

Reaction to TikTok videos of the Paralympic Games has been overwhelmingly negative, but not entirely negative. Those who maintain the account, and some of the athletes who have been featured on it, say it’s an important way to build visibility.

Although the number of participants in the Paralympic Games has increased in recent years, their spectators are lagging behind far behind the Olympics. For example, NBC’s prime-time broadcast of the 2020 Olympics averaged 15.5 million viewers per night, while 14 million watched the entire Paralympic Games.

A spokesperson for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), which manages both the account and the games, told NPR in an email that the criticism appears to be coming mostly from people who don’t have a disability and may not be aware the account is up and running. “a Paralympian who fully understands disability.”

He added that the account has a lot of support from Paralympic athletes as well as spectators.

“We have built a strong audience through poignant and unique content that allows us to educate an audience that may be less aware of Paralympic sport and the achievements of our athletes,” he added. “We understand that not everyone will like the content and sometimes we don’t get it right, but we keep a close eye on the posts, always discussing reactions to them and learning from all the feedback.”

The people behind the account want to educate a new audience

An IPC spokesperson said that TikTok at the Paralympics provides a valuable way to connect with a younger audience “about the power of Paralympic sport as a tool for social inclusion.”

Accounts first viral videoin September 2020, two basketball players in wheelchairs maneuvered on the court to Jack Harlow’s song “What’s Poppin'”.

IPC Digital Media Coordinator Richard Fox said adweek it was then that the team realized the power of TikTok in showing Paralympic sports to people outside of their bubble.

And Fox, a former Paralympic athlete who has been a Paralympic athlete since he was 10, said he doesn’t want these videos to be equated with “inspiration porn.”

“I wanted to show people with disabilities playing sports, but not in the way it was done before,” he explained. “So using viral sounds and using trends, here’s how we do it.”

Fox wants the account to be informative too. He said he spends up to an hour reviewing the comments on each video after it’s posted to respond to comments and answer people’s questions about the video and Paralympic sports in general.

They have undoubtedly seen the critical comments as well. in on adweek video, Jonas Oliveira, head of content for IPC, asks if these critics would be asking the same questions if the subject of the video were Olympic athletes rather than Paralympic athletes.

“There should be no difference in how you treat athletes, whether they are Olympians, healthy athletes or athletes with disabilities,” he said.

The flame is lowered during the closing ceremony of the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games in Beijing. The next Paralympic Games will be held in Paris in August 2024.

Wang He/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee

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The flame is lowered during the closing ceremony of the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games in Beijing. The next Paralympic Games will be held in Paris in August 2024.

Wang He/Getty Images for the International Paralympic Committee

Some athletes defend the score

Several Paralympic athletes who have spoken publicly about this offer different points of view, although many agree that the balance between the two is a delicate one.

Amputee footballer Sean Jackson told the BBC that he is disappointed that the account focuses so much on the mistakes of the athletes, and not on their skills.

“They just decided to mock them and turn them into memes and also try to use their sport to entertain people from a comedic point of view,” he said.

Several of the athletes featured on the account told news outlets that they weren’t offended.

Hicks, cyclist, told NBC News he was unaware of Barstool’s viral tweet showing his video and had no issues with the original.

“I don’t feel like they’re bullying me, just using a song that uses the word left and I was pedaling with my left foot only,” he said.

André Ramos, a boccia bronze medalist who has also been the subject of a TikTok post, told the publication that “making fun of our shortcomings is a sign that we accept ourselves for who we are and that others don’t see disability as different.”

Other athletes agree that humor can help raise awareness and normalize differences.

This was told by parasurfer Liv Stone. adweek that she appreciates the account doesn’t “push awareness … in your face”, while wheelchair-bound basketball player Jess White told the BBC that “if we’re going to celebrate great things, we can also laugh over funny things. “

Brad Snyder, a six-time Paralympic gold medalist (most recently in a paratriathlon) who was blinded by an IED in Afghanistan, which was also good for video in which he appeared last year

It shows the guide leading him from the water to the bike and gently reaching for it, a gesture that TikTok has dubbed and praised as an “air piano”.

snyder told CNN that he found the video funny and reposted at the time. But he also acknowledges that there is a fine line between being cocky and being disrespectful, and that no individual can “completely understand the full gamut of disability.”

However, he appreciates that the account is using sports and humor to try and fill that gap.

“Now let’s talk about what my experience might be like and what problems I might have and how you, as an able-bodied person, could understand and adapt to me in various ways or help me cross the street or help me without regret. me and the like,” Snyder said.

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Smash Your Tiny Violins: The Blue Check Twitter Purge Is Here



Celebrities and other dignitaries around the world, including Bill Gates, the Pope and Hillary Clinton, were stripped of their official ticks on Thursday afternoon when Elon Musk’s promised cleanup of outdated Twitter checks was implemented.

The purge also affected ordinary people such as foodies, podcasters and video game streamers, among others non-celebrities.

“Tomorrow, April 20, we are removing obsolete checked checkboxes,” the post reads. The company tweeted on Wednesday. Many have speculated that the April 20th choice was a prank by Musk in reference to the popular marijuana-based holiday. But it wasn’t a joke.

Musk, the super-rich business mogul, bought the social media giant for $44 billion last year and quickly launched a subscription service that includes a blue check mark for $8 a month. Twitter’s previous verification system, which was launched in 2009, was designed to prevent impersonation of high-profile accounts such as those of celebrities and politicians. Before Musk overhauled the site, there were about 423,000 verified accounts on Twitter. It is not known how many are left today.

A number of high-profile celebrities apparently didn’t pay the $8 monthly fee, and their tick marks disappeared on Thursday. Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, hall berry, Ben Stiller, Bill Gates and many unfortunate journalists (including this writer) were among those famous and not-so-famous Twitter users who lost their verification.

lakers star LeBron James looks like he was given a subscription.

“Perhaps my blue ✔️ will leave soon, because if you know me, I don’t cry 5,” he said in tweet at the end of March, although the monthly fee is $8.

On Thursday, a blue checkmark appeared on his profile that, when clicked, said: “This account is verified because they follow Twitter Blue and have verified their phone number.”

Musk commented on a Twitter thread about James’ blue check, saying that he “pays for some in person.” It was unclear if he paid for James’s subscription.

A rep for James confirmed that a Twitter employee contacted the Lakers star and said Musk was willing to give him a free subscription. James did not accept the offer, the spokesman said. James’ account is still marked with a blue check mark.

The representative declined to comment further.

There is no blue tick on the account former President Trump, who still has over 87 million followers on Twitter despite moving to his own social media site a long time ago. But there is a tick at the expense of the son, Donald Trump Jr.

And then there is written by Stephen King, who had a tick in his account, although he wrote that he did not subscribe to the Twitter service. Musk posted on King’s account on Wednesday, suggesting that Musk paid for the subscription. “Please namaste,” Musk wrote.

Singer rihanna there is a tick and so Miley Cyrus but no Selena Gomez.

Pope Francis appears to have lost his blue check. “The gaze of God never rests on our past full of mistakes, but looks with infinite confidence at what we can become.” pontiff’s account wrote on Thursday. Without the verification symbol, The Times was unable to verify that the account belongs to the pope.

Times Staff Writer Dan Voik contributed to this report.

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