February 22nd, 2024

Liberals’ proposed AI law too vague, costly, Big Tech executives tell MPs

By The Canadian Press on February 7, 2024.

People stand in the lobby for Amazon offices in New York on Feb. 14, 2019. Representatives from Big Tech companies say a Liberal government bill that would begin regulating some artificial intelligence systems is too vague. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Mark Lennihan

OTTAWA – Representatives from Big Tech companies say a Liberal government bill that would begin regulating some artificial intelligence systems is too vague.

Amazon and Microsoft executives told MPs at the House of Commons industry committee today that Bill C-27 doesn’t differentiate enough between high- and low-risk AI systems.

The companies say abiding by the law as it’s written would be costly, could potentially stifle innovation and could mean businesses’ resources aren’t sufficiently focused on the highest-risk systems.

Microsoft says a high-risk system like one used to approve a mortgage and a low-risk system such as AI used to optimize package delivery routes would be treated the same way under the law.

Amazon also says the current definition of a high-impact system is too vague.

For example, the company says the use of AI by a peace officer is considered high-impact in all cases – even if an officer is simply using auto-correct to fill out a traffic ticket.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 7, 2024.

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