May 31, 2024

AI Receives Increased Focus From Federal, State Lawmakers

As AI’s prominence in daily life continues to grow, the technology is receiving new focus from government bodies. A prominent consumer board is reviewing potential rules regarding some misuses of the technology, while a major U.S. state is reviewing potential laws to put in place regarding AI – following Connecticut’s near-success in 2024 to become the first state to pass legislation regarding its uses.

CNN reported this week that the Federal Communications Commission is beginning to consider new rules that would require political ads on television and radio to include disclaimers about their use of AI. The proposal would require on-air disclosures about AI-generated content on those mediums; the FCC does not have regulatory control over internet-based media.

This use of technology is one that’s received significant attention in recent months, with some federal and state lawmakers proposing rules around AI’s use in elections. Senate Bill 2, legislation created by Connecticut State Senator James Maroney, considered legislation that would place restrictions on election-related use of AI, especially concerning deceptive media. AI has already been used to disseminate false information about political races, including an AI-generated robocall earlier this year that provided false information using computer-generated audio sounding like President Joe Biden.

Senate Bill 2 passed the Senate, but was not taken up in the House due to a threatened veto from Governor Ned Lamont.

“The FCC’s consideration of this serious issue should be applauded, as election misinformation sounding like it’s from trusted sources could mislead countless voters,” said Sen. Maroney. “I’ll be watching this with vested interest as the discussion evolves.”

The FCC, earlier this year, banned AI-generated voices in robocalls under threat of fine. Consumers or organizations will also be allowed to bring a lawsuit against a robocaller using AI-generated voices in court.

These advances come as California, home of Silicon Valley and many of the United States’ tech hubs, is considering AI legislation in its legislature. Proposals including fighting algorithmic discrimination – a primary focus of Connecticut’s Senate Bill 2 – and outlawing deepfakes are advancing. The state’s legislators are also considering using AI to address highway congestion and find solutions to homelessness, among other additional uses and focuses.

Colorado became the first state to pass AI regulations into law earlier this year, a mantle Connecticut could have worn if not for the Governor’s threatened veto.

“I’m keeping a close eye on other states’ approaches to AI regulation, and am interested in continuing the progress we made this year,” Sen. Maroney said. “I’m encouraged that many states are seriously considering this important issue.”

Posted by Joe O’Leary