Dutch to use Europe's AI Act 'immediately,' invest $222 million in sector

Illustration shows AI (Artificial Intelligence) letters and robot hand miniature

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch government on Thursday said it would begin adhering to the essence of Europe's landmark AI Act "immediately" and that the Netherlands has set aside 204.5 million euros ($222.07 million) to foster local investment in artificial intelligence.

The announcements were made in a document outlining the government's strategy for taking advantage of generative AI systems such as ChatGPT while protecting against risks.

The European Union in December reached a political deal on a risk-based model for regulating AI, but some details are still being hammered out and it has not yet formally been enacted.

However, "the act is immediately effective as law in the Netherlands," the Dutch document said.

"Our standpoint is, let's start dealing with what we know instead of waiting for final answers," said Thomas van Oortmerssen, spokesperson at the country's interior ministry. He added that businesses would benefit from regulatory clarity.

The 46-page vision document also noted that it would be difficult for Dutch companies to compete with large U.S. and Chinese AI firms, given their current lead in developing software and purchasing computing power. It called for European cooperation in order to "gain a foothold" in AI.

($1 = 0.9209 euros)

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Paul Simao)