Canada’s AI regulation bill has yet to define key terms, despite being introduced over a year ago

The Artificial Intelligence and Data Act was introduced in June 2022 and has yet to be studied by the Industry Committee

Leading AI companies’ confirmation of “voluntary commitments” with the United States last week prompted Canada’s Innovation Minister to confirm legislative plans in Canada.

“We will continue to work closely with our U.S., EU and G7 partners to build on these commitments internationally, while establishing an agile legislative and regulatory framework in [Canada],” Minister François-Philippe Champagne tweeted. 

The commitments from Amazon, Anthropic, Google, Inflection, Meta, Microsoft, and OpenAI focus on “safety, security, and trust.” This includes security testing before releasing their systems to the public, investing in cybersecurity, and creating ways for the public to know when content is AI-generated.

While similar commitments don’t exist in Canada at this time, the federal government has been discussing a bill that could address some ongoing concerns.

Bill C-27, the Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (AIDA), passed its second reading in the House of Commons on April 24th. When Parliament resumes in September, the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology will study the bill.

AIDA focuses on a multitude of aspects, such as transparency and risk management. However, the government has yet to define many of these aspects. Canada has been particularly slow moving on the bill, as it was first introduced on June 16th, 2022. It may be years before the bill comes to fruition.

This could raise a multitude of problems given the deployment of AI chatbots in Canada. Canadians can currently access OpenAI’s ChatGPT. While Google’s Bard isn’t available at this time, Canadians can use a VPN to gain access.

The Innovation Minister “has been involved directly with his EU and U.S. counterparts on the matter of the development of an international AI code of conduct,” Laurie Bouchard, his director of communications, told the National Post.

“[The bill] includes one of the world’s first legislative frameworks for AI, enabling responsible guardrails that would evolve as the technology changes.”

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Source: The White House, Legisinfo Via: National Post