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France joins European Union in backing AI regulations

France is now backing landmark European Union rules governing artificial intelligence subject to strict conditions, an EU diplomatic source said on Friday, after sources had previously said 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.

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 and Google AI researchers, and Germany’s Aleph Alpha have been lobbying their respective governments on the issue, sources said.

Ambassadors of the 27 EU countries will formally endorse the AI Act at 1400 GMT.

The next step for it to become legislation is a vote by a key committee of EU lawmakers on Feb. 13 and the European Parliament vote either in March or April.

EU countries and lawmakers had reached a political deal in December last year. Reuters

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