EU Tackles AI Election Risks; UAE May Invest in OpenAI Chips

In today's world, artificial intelligence (AI) is a double-edged sword—it offers incredible benefits but also brings challenges, especially when it comes to elections.

by Faruk Imamovic
EU Tackles AI Election Risks; UAE May Invest in OpenAI Chips
© Getty Images/Justin Sullivan

In today's world, artificial intelligence (AI) is a double-edged sword—it offers incredible benefits but also brings challenges, especially when it comes to elections. The European Commission is stepping up to tackle these issues head-on.

They're focusing on the big tech companies, showing a real dedication to keeping our democratic processes safe from the unexpected problems that come with our digital era.

A Call for Transparency and Responsibility

The European Commission's recent action—issuing formal requests for information (RFI) to major digital platforms like Bing, Facebook, Google Search, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, and X—highlights a growing concern over generative AI's ability to influence voter perception.

These platforms, recognized as very large online platforms (VLOPs) under the Digital Services Act (DSA), now face the critical task of evaluating and mitigating systemic risks posed by AI, including the spread of "hallucinations," viral deepfakes, and automated service manipulation.

This effort is all about making sure that these big online platforms play by the new rules for online shopping and digital governance set out by the DSA. The European Commission is really pushing for these companies to be open about how they handle AI-generated content.

They want to make sure elections are fair, stop the spread of illegal stuff online, and protect our basic rights, among other things.

Tightening the Reins on Election Security

The commission's focus extends beyond mere compliance; it signals a proactive stance in developing and enforcing regulations that address the evolving landscape of digital threats to election security.

The urgency of these requests, with a deadline set for April 3, reflects the commission's commitment to finalizing election security guidelines promptly. This step is especially important now that it's getting cheaper and easier to make and share fake videos that can fool people.

The commission is really focusing on how big online platforms spread these fakes, showing just how important it is to have a solid plan to fight false information. Thanks to the DSA, the commission can fine companies if they don't give complete or accurate information, or if they spread misleading stuff.

This power to fine companies is a way to make sure they take the problem of false information seriously, protecting the trust and truth in our democratic processes.

OpenAI's Ambitious Leap into Semiconductor Sovereignty

OpenAI, a name synonymous with groundbreaking advances in artificial intelligence, has recently unveiled its ambitious plans to produce its own semiconductor chips.

This big move is all about OpenAI wanting to depend less on Nvidia, which is a leading name in the world of semiconductor tech right now. By deciding to make their own semiconductor chips, OpenAI is showing they want to stand on their own two feet, especially in the tech that makes AI work.

It's a big deal because it shows just how important controlling this kind of tech is in the race to be the best in AI.

Sam Altman© Getty Images/Justin Sullivan

The UAE's Stake in the AI Future

The Financial Times reports that discussions are underway between OpenAI and the UAE state-backed group MGX, indicating potential financial backing for OpenAI's semiconductor venture.

This move is part of a broader effort by the UAE to position itself as a leading player in the emerging technology sector, extending beyond its current reputation as a hub for cryptocurrencies and the metaverse. MGX's interest in OpenAI's chip manufacturing aspirations is telling of the UAE's ambitious vision to become a central figure in the global AI strategy.

This potential investment underscores the strategic alignment between OpenAI's technological ambitions and the UAE's economic diversification and technological advancement goals. OpenAI's decision to manufacture its semiconductor chips marks a critical juncture in the AI industry.

By seeking trillions in investment and potentially partnering with global players like the UAE, OpenAI could significantly alter the competitive landscape of the tech industry. This move towards semiconductor sovereignty not only aims to enhance OpenAI's operational independence but also reflects the growing importance of controlling the underlying technologies that power AI advancements.

The Growing Unease Over Data Privacy and Security

The digital age, for all its conveniences and advancements, has ushered in a new era of challenges concerning data privacy and security. According to the Aleo 2024 Data Privacy Report, a staggering 77% of consumers expressed significant concern over their data privacy and security in daily life.

This concern is not limited to any single demographic, with high levels of apprehension reported across generations, from Baby Boomers to the tech-native Generation Z.

A Widespread Call for Transparency and Control

The report really highlights how most people feel like they're not in control of their own data.

A lot of us worry about what happens to our information once we share it with companies—whether it's being used in ways we wouldn't like, shared without our permission, or even mishandled. This worry points out a big need for companies to be more open about what they do with our data and to give us more say in how it's used, making us feel safer about our personal information online.

The Cryptocurrency Sector at a Crossroads

The report sheds particular light on the cryptocurrency industry, where data privacy and security concerns are even more pronounced. Despite the promise of blockchain technology to offer enhanced security and privacy, consumer confidence remains low.

This disconnect highlights the critical need for the industry to address these concerns head-on, to not only protect users but also to foster wider adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies.