Navigating Legal Hurdles, European AI Testing Centers, and The Imminent Rise of Robots

This week has witnessed several pivotal developments that are shaping the AI landscape. One notable development is the announcement by the US Commerce Department regarding its plans to block Chinese customers from accessing AI cloud services as part of the ongoing trade war between the US and China. Additionally, the creators of ChatGPT are currently embroiled in a class action lawsuit, facing allegations of misappropriating personal information.

Shifting our focus to Europe, we delve into the European Commission’s recent revelation of specialized testing and evaluation centers for AI. These centers are designed to foster responsible AI development and align with the forthcoming EU AI Act.

Furthermore, we examine the potential impact of AI on jobs, with Goldman Sachs projecting significant automation and potential job displacement across various sectors.

Join The Prime View as we delve deeper into the most recent developments and gain valuable insights into the dynamic world of AI and technology.

A small humanoid toy robot is standing in the middle of a storage space demonstrating his movements.

US to Block Chinese Customers from Accessing AI Cloud Services: Report

According to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, the US Commerce Department is preparing to prohibit US firms from providing cloud services that utilize advanced AI processors to Chinese customers. This move is part of the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. The Biden administration has banned the export of advanced chips used in AI development and training to China. In response, China’s government has banned the export of gallium and germanium, rare metals used in semiconductor manufacturing.

National security experts view these potential cloud computing restrictions as closing a loophole that would have allowed Chinese companies to bypass export restrictions on AI chips by accessing them through cloud services. This development places major technology companies like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon at the forefront of the international trade dispute.

Additionally, the US is updating its rules to align its list of controlled silicon manufacturing equipment with Japan and the Netherlands, both of which have joined the US in restricting the sale of advanced technology and the import of Chinese equipment.

ChatGPT Maker OpenAI Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Data Privacy

OpenAI, the company behind the ChatGPT generative AI chatbot backed by Microsoft, is facing a federal class action lawsuit in California. The lawsuit, filed this week, accuses OpenAI of misappropriating personal information for training purposes without proper compensation. The complaint lists multiple causes of action, including Computer Fraud and Abuse Act violations, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and various state consumer rights laws and common-law torts.

The plaintiffs argue that OpenAI “stole” their private information and utilized it to create ChatGPT, a highly valuable product. Alongside seeking monetary damages, the plaintiffs are demanding corrective actions, such as establishing an independent AI council for governance and open access to all personal information collected by OpenAI.

EU Announces Specialized Testing and Evaluation Centers for AI

The European Commission has revealed its plans to co-fund four testing and experimentation facilities (TEFs) for AI exploration. These TEFs aim to support responsible AI development and facilitate compliance with the upcoming EU AI Act, which is currently in the final stages of approval. The TEFs will operate in physical and virtual realms, focusing on agriculture and food production, healthcare data, smart manufacturing, and smart city technology.

Funding for these TEFs will amount to approximately $43 billion to $65 billion, coming from the European Commission and member state contributions. Initially, the TEFs will operate for five years. By utilizing the TEFs for testing and validation, AI technology developers can align their products with the requirements of the forthcoming AI Act, which recently passed the European Parliament.

Musk Lauds China’s AI Prowess While Warning of Tech’s Dangers

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc., enthusiastically acknowledged China’s prowess in artificial intelligence (AI) during his keynote speech at a prominent Chinese government-backed conference. The two-day event centered on China’s AI initiatives and enjoyed the support of influential regulatory agencies. Musk’s participation underscored his deep connections with the world’s second-largest economy. Just a month ago, he concluded his first visit to China since the pandemic, where he had the opportunity to tour a Tesla production facility in Shanghai, responsible for over half of the company’s global production.

During his speech, Musk reiterated his strong belief in a future driven by robots and called for increased regulatory oversight of AI. He expressed confidence that robots would achieve full self-driving capabilities later this year as the world progresses toward a future where robots outnumber humans. Furthermore, he expressed his conviction that China has the potential to become a global leader in AI, a field that could significantly influence the future economic and geopolitical landscape.

A cartoon sketch showing a person being polite with voice activated Google because he thinks its possible robots will take over.

Venture Capital Funding Declines Globally Despite AI Enthusiasm

Data from research firm PitchBook reveals a nearly 50% decline in global venture capital funding during the first half of 2023. This decrease in investment, amounting to $173.9 billion, is attributed to diminished investor enthusiasm and reduced demand amid higher interest rates. Despite this decline, the artificial intelligence sector continues to attract substantial interest, with over $40 billion invested in AI startups over the past six months. 

Read: Funding-Fueled Growth: Ten IT Startup Companies to Watch Out for in 2023

Notable investments include Microsoft’s $10 billion investment in OpenAI and $1.3 billion in funding for rival Inflection AI.

Latin America experienced the most significant drop in venture capital funding, with an 86% decline, followed by the US and Europe, with decreases of 65% and 69%, respectively. Investors attribute the decline to reevaluations of valuations prompted by higher interest rates and the lack of IPO opportunities and alternative exit strategies, which has led to increased selectiveness among investors.

ChatGPT’s Traffic Declines for the First Time Since Launch

Analytics firm Similarweb reports that ChatGPT, the popular AI chatbot launched in November, experienced a decline in monthly traffic and unique visitors for the first time in June. Global desktop and mobile traffic to the ChatGPT website dropped by 9.7% compared to May, while unique visitors fell by 5.7%. The amount of time spent on the website also decreased by 8.5%.

This decline in traffic suggests that the initial novelty of the chatbot may be wearing off. Experts speculate that the decrease reflects a growing demand for real-time generative AI information and a broader interest in AI. Despite the decline, ChatGPT remains one of the top 20 websites worldwide and has surpassed Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, in terms of usage. Competitors like Google’s Bard chatbot have also recently entered the market.

AI’s Impact on Jobs: Threats and New Opportunities

Investment bank Goldman Sachs predicts that AI could threaten up to 300 million US and European jobs. The research note highlights that two-thirds of US jobs could be partially automated through AI, with up to 25% of current work tasks completely automated. Roles involving repetitive data entry, legal administration, mathematical skills, and even healthcare jobs are expected to be impacted by AI adoption.

Goldman Sachs projects that as much as 29% of computer-related job tasks, 28% of healthcare practitioners’ work, and technical functions in the healthcare field could be automated by AI. Administrative positions (46%) and legal professions (44%) are particularly susceptible to automation. However, physically intensive fields such as construction (6%) and maintenance (4%) are less likely to be affected.

While AI can potentially disrupt various career fields, not all jobs within those sectors will be equally affected. For example, paralegal jobs in the legal sector are more likely to be endangered than attorney positions. This discrepancy contributes to the high automation score in the legal profession.

Overall, the review covers significant developments in the AI industry, including the geopolitical impact of trade restrictions, legal actions regarding data privacy, initiatives to support responsible AI development, insights from industry leaders, and the ongoing effects of AI on job markets.