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The Pope and US regulators warn about AI risks: Law Decoded

The Pope and US regulators warn about AI risks: Law Decoded

The head of the Catholic Church warned humanity of AI’s potential dangers and explained what needs to be done to control it.

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Nowadays, everyone has an opinion on artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential risks. Even Pope Francis — the head of the Catholic Church — warned humanity of AI’s potential dangers and explained what needs to be done to control it. The Pope wants to see an international treaty to regulate AI to ensure it is developed and used ethically. Otherwise, he says, we risk falling into the spiral of a “technological dictatorship.” The threat of AI arises when developers have a “desire for profit or thirst for power” that dominates the wish to exist freely and peacefully, he added. 

The same feeling was expressed by the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), which is comprised of top financial regulators and chaired by United States Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. In its annual report, the organization emphasized that AI carries specific risks, such as cybersecurity and model risks. It suggested that companies and regulators enhance their knowledge and capabilities to monitor AI innovation and usage and identify emerging risks. According to the report, specific AI tools are highly technical and complex, posing challenges for institutions to explain or monitor them effectively. The report warns that companies and regulators may overlook biased or inaccurate results without a comprehensive understanding.

Even judges in the United Kingdom are ruminating on the risks of using AI in their work. Four senior judges in the U.K. have issued judicial guidance for AI, which deals with AI’s “responsible use” in courts and tribunals. The guidance points out potentially useful instances of AI usage, primarily in administrative aspects such as summarizing texts, writing presentations and composing emails. However, most of the guidance cautions judges to avoid consuming false information produced through AI searches and summaries and to be vigilant about anything false being produced by AI in their name. Particularly not recommended is the use of AI for legal research and analysis.

Tether onboards FBI to demonstrate its compliance

Tether, the company behind the stablecoin Tether (USDT), disclosed letters directed to U.S. lawmakers addressing requests for intervention by the Department of Justice (DOJ) about the illicit use of its stablecoin. The letters aim to answer calls from Senator Cynthia Lummis and Representative French Hill from October, urging the DOJ “to carefully evaluate the extent to which Binance and Tether are providing material support and resources to support terrorism.”

Tether stated that it has a Know Your Customer program, a transaction monitoring system and a “proactive approach” to identifying suspicious accounts and activities. In addition, Tether said that clients’ reviews do not end with their registration and claimed it uses surveillance monitoring tools to track client activity continuously. The company also disclosed that it onboarded the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to its platform as part of collaboration efforts with law enforcement.

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KuCoin will ban New York residents

Crypto exchange KuCoin has agreed to pay $22 million to the State of New York and to bar state residents from using its platform, according to a stipulation and consent order filed in the New York Supreme Court. In addition, KuCoin “admits that it represented itself as an ‘exchange’ and was not registered as an exchange pursuant to the laws of New York State.” The company has agreed to close the accounts of all New York resident users within 120 days and to prevent New York residents from obtaining accounts in the future. In addition, it will restrict access to withdrawals to only within 30 days, leaving the remaining 90 days available for users to withdraw funds. 

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Four crypto crimes listed among the IRS top cases in 2023

The criminal investigation unit of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service has listed four crypto-related cases among the top 10 of its “most prominent and high-profile investigations” in 2023. Four significant cases in 2023 involved the seizure of cryptocurrency, fraudulent practices, money laundering and other schemes. Coming in at its third most high-profile investigation in the past year was OneCoin co-founder Karl Sebastian Greenwood, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in September for his role in marketing and selling a fraudulent crypto asset.

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