Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Regulators in Europe and Washington are racing to figure out how to govern business' use of artificial intelligence while companies push to deploy the technology.

Driving the news: On Wednesday, the EU revealed a detailed proposal on how AI should be regulated, banning some uses outright and defining which uses of AI are deemed "high-risk."

  • "It is a big move, and will put pressure on the United States to toughen AI regulations," said Darrell West, senior fellow at the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution.

In the U.S., the federal government has yet to pass legislation specifically addressing AI, though some local governments have enacted their own rules, especially around facial recognition.

But Monday, the Federal Trade Commission laid out a tough restatement of its role enforcing laws related to AI, addressing the sale and use of algorithms that:

  • Deny people employment, housing or benefits;
  • Encode racial bias; or
  • Result in credit discrimination.

Acting FTC chairwoman Rebecca Slaughter told Axios: “I am pleased that the European Commission shares the FTC’s concerns about the risks posed by artificial intelligence... I look forward to reviewing the EC’s proposal as we learn from each other in pursuit of transparency, fairness, and accountability in algorithmic decision making.”

Why it matters: Artificial intelligence is no longer in its infancy and already has wide uses. Global governments are trying to wrap their arms around it, often taking different approaches.

  • The U.S. and the EU both aim to ensure AI doesn't discriminate against marginalized communities, taking somewhat different paths to get there.
  • Experts warn that if the Atlantic allies aren't on the same page, China and Russia will end up setting terms that give repressive governments free rein.
  • "The U.S. and EU need to have a coordinated approach so the two can work together... The question is whether you can harmonize all the provisions, because in general, the EU is tougher than the U.S. on tech regulation," said West.

What they're saying: The EU's move "is another wake-up call for the U.S. that it needs to retain its leadership position in the development in these sorts of legal frameworks," said Christian Troncoso, senior director of policy at BSA | The Software Alliance.

  • "The U.S. is going to really need to start being a little bit more forward-leaning and willing to engage with big trade partners like the EU on the development of norms around technology," he said.

Be smart: Regulators move slower than technology. Just this week, the ACLU and dozens of other advocacy groups called on the Department of Homeland Security to stop using Clearview AI's facial recognition software.

  • BuzzFeed news recently reported that 1,803 publicly funded agencies have used Clearview AI.
  • A number of giant tech companies, including Microsoft, Amazon and IBM, have called on the federal government to set clear rules around AI, particularly around facial recognition.

The bottom line: Regulators want to get the details right, but they also believe they have a rare chance with AI to put legal and ethical guardrails around a new technology before it's already deployed everywhere. That window will close fast.

Go deeper

Apr 21, 2021 - Technology

EU proposes new rules for artificial intelligence

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

European Union officials proposed new regulations Wednesday for high-risk uses of artificial intelligence, like facial scanning.

The big picture: The EU wants to set rules for uses of AI that shape decisions made about people's lives and ban uses of AI that are deemed to be too risky.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Apr 21, 2021 - Technology

Tech shows that side effects aren't just for vaccines

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The debate over extremely rare side effects from the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine highlights questions about how we should account for the unintended consequences of new technology.

Why it matters: AI algorithms, facial recognition, self-driving cars — the future will be full of technologies that will bring new benefits shadowed by new harms. But unlike in medicine, there isn't a clear framework for how to strike a balance between the two.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Apr 20, 2021 - Technology

Antitrust pressure on Big Tech takes center stage in Congress

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The antitrust noose is continuing to tighten around Big Tech, with some bankers saying that the pressure is impacting deal-making.

Driving the news: Lina Khan, a law professor who famously argued for breaking up Amazon, tomorrow will get a Senate confirmation hearing to become an FTC commissioner.