German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck said that his government wants to prevent overly strict regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) in the European Union.
Habeck, in a podcast interview released on Monday morning just before the start of a digital summit hosted by the German government in the eastern city of Jena,
called instead for a regulatory approach focused on potential risks.
The digital summit is expected to bring together about 1,000 participants from government, business, research and civil society sectors to discuss how to implement a digital transformation in Germany.
“The most important thing now is to get a sensible AI regulation at European level,” Habeck told the
“You can do a lot of things right, but you can also do a lot of things wrong.”
“If we over-regulate [AI], we could end up with the best traffic regulations - but no traffic on the road,”
Habeck said. “That must not happen.”
In addition to appropriate AI regulation, Habeck said that the German government is committed to enabling private sector investment in digital technologies.
Germany must “trigger a real wave” in the venture capital sector so that companies can either find their own investors or investors can find suitable companies, he said.
On Monday, a joint position paper on AI by the governments of Germany, France and Italy expressed general support for regulation of
AI but argued that laws should not restrict the underlying technology itself but focus only on its use.
A “risk-based approach” is needed that can balance innovation and safety, the countries argue in the paper, which was addressed to Spain,
which currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.