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Open letter: EU’s AI Act must not exclude regulation of foundation models
By Gary Marcus  |  Jan 10, 2024
Open letter: EU’s AI Act must not exclude regulation of foundation models
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The EU lately concluded an agreement on the AI Act, an overarching set of laws crafted to govern AI use within the trade bloc. The following is a letter Prof Gary Marcus and 70 other top global AI experts inked in advance that explains why the Act should encompass foundation models.


*Update: A compromise was reached in December, but the European Union’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act has not yet been fully finalized, so the logic in the open letter presented below remains highly relevant.

To the members of the German Federal Government:

We are a group of German and international experts in the field of [AI] and leaders in business, civil society, and academia. Our expertise is diverse and significant: Among us are the two most cited AI researchers in the world and recipients of the Turing Award - i.e., the ‘Nobel Prize of Computing’ - the author of the world’s most widely used textbook on AI, experts who have advised the German Federal Government on AI and adjacent topics, and founders of successful AI companies. 

We understand that the European Union’s AI Act is nearing finalization and is presently being discussed in a trilogue [a “negotiation bringing together representatives of the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission, [whose] aim… is to reach a provisional agreement on a legislative proposal… acceptable to both the Parliament and the Council”]. In our shared view, the AI Act could become a landmark work of legislation, shaping the future of AI not only in the EU, but the entire world. We commend the EU and its member states for their serious and appropriate treatment of this important issue, as well as their global leadership on it.

In our view, however, the Act’s potential is now at risk: A central element of the AI Act - namely binding rules for foundation models - faces resistance from some member states. We understand that the German Federal Government is part of this opposition. 

We believ

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