European Commission's concern about the risks of generative AI.

Friday, 22 of March of 2024

The European Commission (the “Commission”) has sent a formal request for information under the Digital Services Act (“DSA”) to:

-        Six Very Large Online Platforms (“VLOPs”): Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok, YouTube, X.; and

-        Two Very Large Online Search Engines (“VLOSEs”): Bing and Google Search.

The Commission, aware of the risks that generative AI may entail, requests the referred companies to provide more information on the risks linked to this type of AI; in particular:

-       internal documents on risk analysis; and

-        mitigation measures linked to the impact of generative AI on electoral processes, dissemination of illegal content, protection of fundamental rights, among other topics.

Among the information required is that related to the so-called "hallucinations" in which AI provides false information; viral dissemination of deepfakes; as well as automated manipulation of services that can mislead voters.

The concerned companies must provide the requested information to the Commission by April 2024.

We should, in any case, keep in mind that generative AI is one of the risks identified by the Commission in its draft “Guidelines on the integrity of electoral processes”, which aimed to provide VLOPs and VLOSEs with best practices and examples of potential mitigation measures for risks related to elections, including specific measures linked to generative AI.

Finally, this request for information constitutes an investigatory act. In case of failure to reply by the VLOPs and VLOSEs, the Commission may decide to request the information by decision. In this case, failure to reply by the deadline could lead to the imposition of periodic penalty payments.

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