Some corporate technology leaders say a proposed clampdown by European regulators on the use of artificial intelligence will run up costs and stifle innovation, just as companies are starting to unlock its potential.
Others say stronger oversight will help build public trust in AI systems, which have inflamed tensions over data privacy, consumer protection and misuse—especially in areas like facial recognition.
Thomas Donnelly, chief information officer of software firm BetterCloud Inc., said the proposed restrictions will have a negative impact on Europe’s technology sector over the long term, as companies elsewhere gain a competitive edge by continuing to develop cheaper and more efficient AI-powered applications.
“I’ve been doing IT for a long time,” Mr. Donnelly said in an email. “I’ve never seen tech as transformative as AI since the internet.”
The European Union’s executive arm on Wednesday unveiled legislation that would ban the use of certain kinds of AI systems, while limiting the use of facial recognition by police.