France is now backing landmark European Union rules governing Artificial Intelligence (AI) – subject to strict conditions – an EU diplomatic source said, after others had previously indicated it was the “last holdout” in the bloc to support the plan.
Such conditions include balancing transparency and protecting business secrecy as well as implementing obligations for high-risk AI systems without administrative overload, the official said on February 2.
The aim is to allow competitive AI models to develop in the bloc, added the official who declined to be named because they were not authorised to publicly comment on the issue.
French AI start-up Mistral, founded by former Meta META.O and Google GOOGL.O AI researchers and Germany’s Aleph Alpha, have been lobbying their respective governments on the issue, sources said.
Ambassadors of the 27 EU countries were expected to formally endorse the AI Act at later on February 2.
The next step for it to become legislation is a vote by a key committee of EU lawmakers on February 13 and then a European Parliament vote, either in March or April.
EU countries and politicians had reached a deal regarding the matter in December last year.