Ireland's Regulation Dampens Meta's AI Ambitions In Europe

Zinger Key Points
  • Meta halts launch of AI assistant in Europe after regulatory feedback.
  • Irish regulator concerns over data use impact Meta's AI plans.

Meta has reportedly announced it will pause the launch of its AI assistant, Meta AI, in Europe, following concerns raised by the Irish privacy regulator about using user data from Facebook and Instagram.

The decision aligns with a directive from the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), which acts as Meta’s lead regulator in Europe after advocacy group NOYB urged regulators across multiple European countries to scrutinize the company’s data practices.

Reuters reported that Meta’s intention to use personal data for training its artificial intelligence models without explicit user consent is the core issue prompting the regulator’s intervention.

Meta had planned to utilize publicly available and licensed information for this purpose.

Reacting to the DPC’s request, Meta has agreed to delay training its large language models (LLMs) using public content from adult users on Facebook and Instagram.

Also Read: Meta Faces Rising Risk Of Free-Cash-Flow Burn As Creator Payouts Evolve, Says Analyst

The company expressed disappointment with this setback, citing it as a hindrance to AI innovation and competition within Europe.

In a statement to Reuters, Meta highlighted that excluding local European data would compromise the functionality of Meta AI, providing users with a suboptimal experience.

“Put simply, without including local information, we’d only be able to offer people a second-rate experience,” Meta told Reuters, indicating that the launch of Meta AI in Europe is currently not feasible.

Meta’s postponement underscores the complex interplay between technological advancement and European data privacy regulations.

Meta reported first-quarter revenue of $36.45 billion, up 27% year over year. The company said capital spending is likely to increase in future years as its artificial intelligence roadmap is supported.

Meta stock has gained 83% in the last 12 months. Investors can gain exposure to the stock via Vanguard Communication Services ETF VOX and Communication Services Select Sector SPDR Fund XLC.

Price Action: META shares are trading lower by 0.22% at $502.47 at last check Friday.

Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

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