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Japan Considers Relaxed Approach to AI Regulations in Contrast to EU’s Stringency

Japan is reportedly contemplating a less stringent regulatory framework for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) compared to the European Union (EU). The country views AI as a catalyst for economic growth and aims to position itself as a leader in advanced chip technologies.

According to an official familiar with the discussions, Japan intends to develop an AI approach by the end of the year that aligns more closely with the perspective of the United States rather than the stricter regulations supported by the EU, according to reports by Reuters.

This divergence in regulatory approaches could hinder the EU’s ambition to establish its regulations as the global standard. The EU’s proposed guidelines, for instance, mandate companies to disclose copyrighted material used in training AI systems that generate content like text and graphics.

Thierry Breton, the EU’s industry chief, is currently in Tokyo to advocate for the bloc’s approach to AI rule-making and to enhance cooperation in the field of semiconductors.

While the government official did not provide extensive details on the potential disparities between Japan’s rules and those of the EU, Professor Yutaka Matsuo, chair of the government’s AI strategy council at the University of Tokyo, expressed concerns about the EU’s strictness. Matsuo emphasized the difficulty of identifying copyrighted material utilized in deep learning processes.

“With the EU, the issue is less about how to promote innovation and more about making already large companies take responsibility,” explained Matsuo, who is also a chairperson for the Japan Deep Learning Association and serves as an independent director on the board of the SoftBank Group of Masayoshi Son.

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As Japan deliberates on a more relaxed regulatory framework for AI, the contrasting approaches of different regions highlight the ongoing global debate over finding the right balance between promoting innovation, protecting intellectual property rights, and ensuring accountability in the development and deployment of AI technologies.

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