With Bill C-27, Canada has a golden opportunity to become an international model in managing artificial intelligence (AI). But its slow adoption means “the window for action is closing quickly”, condemned the 75 signatories of an open letter published this Wednesday. Press.
The team is made up of artificial intelligence researchers and academics such as Joshua Bengio, Catherine Regis and Graham Taylor, CEOs of tech companies such as Sam Ramadori (Brainbox) and Frantz Santellemmi (Leddartech), and heads of AI-related organizations such as Julien Billot. Scale AI. It’s a logical follow-up to the call launched by nearly 20,000 experts on March 29 demanding a six-month global moratorium on AI development. This call challenges political decision makers to establish an AI regime.
“There is no doubt that AI offers great potential for economic growth and social opportunity, as well as addressing the most pressing health and environmental challenges of our time. While these developments are impressive, it is important to recognize that AI systems pose risks that must be taken seriously and addressed quickly. »
A long process
Joshua Bengio said in an interview that Bill C-27, introduced in June 2022 by the Trudeau government and deadlocked by the Conservative opposition, was a “fantastic” move in that sense. To draft an open letter. “We are definitely ahead of other countries. There are things that can be improved […], but because of the rapid progress in AI there is an urgent need to act. »
The researcher notes that Bill C-27 and its third part, called the “Artificial Intelligence and Data Act,” which is specifically intended to prevent reckless use of this technology, must be passed before the end of the parliamentary session in mid-June. A year later, the bill is at its second reading.
Mr. Bengio recalled. “We need to start the process immediately, it will take time. I asked the minister, let’s speed it up. The initial plan is a two-year consultation process before ChatGPT comes in. Some aspects can be made through regulations after the law is passed,” he said. “Technology moves fast, but changing laws is difficult. »
Adopting an AI framework will have economic benefits, underlines the signatories of the letter. “If Canada becomes one of the first countries to pass its legislation, it will send a strong signal to Canada and Canadian businesses and businesses around the world that they can look to Canada and Canadian businesses if they want to develop or buy trustworthy and responsible AIs. It respects human rights and protects the well-being of consumers. »