A Proposal for a Definition of General Purpose Artificial Intelligence Systems
4 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2022
Date Written: October 5, 2022
The European Union (EU) is in the middle of comprehensively regulating artificial intelligence (AI) through an effort known as the AI Act. Within the vast spectrum of issues under the Act’s aegis, the treatment of technologies classified as general purpose AI systems (GPAIS) merits special consideration. Particularly, existing proposals to define GPAIS do not provide sufficient guidance to distinguish these systems from those designed to perform specific tasks, denominated as fixed-purpose. Thus, our working paper has three objectives. First, to highlight the variance and ambiguity in the interpretation of GPAIS in the literature. Second, to examine the dimensions of generality of purpose available to define GPAIS. Lastly, it proposes a functional definition of the term that facilitates its governance within the EU. Our intention with this piece is to spark a discussion that improves the hard and soft law efforts to mitigate these systems’ risks and protect the well-being and future of constituencies in the EU and globally.
Keywords: Artificial intelligence, European Union, governance of technology, technology risk management
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