Two US States Are Taking the Initiative to Regulate AI - Latest Global News

Two US States Are Taking the Initiative to Regulate AI

In the absence of overarching federal legislation, Colorado and Connecticut have taken the lead in regulating artificial intelligence (AI) in the United States.

Both states have embarked on bold plans to create a framework for the rapidly evolving technology, but there has been strong opposition from the industry as the debate continues to revolve around finding a workable solution to ensure safeguards are in place There is still enough room for AI to thrive.

Lawmakers know the technology will create opportunities, but it is also a situation fraught with risk that requires some difficult decisions.

Connecticut had set the tone, followed by Colorado, but the constitutional state saw its efforts stifled after Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont raised the specter of a veto, fearing the proposed legislation was too strict.

The governor stated, “It was simply too early for Connecticut to get far ahead of the curve. We need to give entrepreneurs some leeway so we can see where this can take us and be prepared if we need to rein in something.”

After the passage of a first-in-the-nation law and privacy agreement, initial efforts gained momentum in the state. A working group of politicians and industry representatives was set up, with Senator James Maroney leading the initiative. Some thought the main draft was too weak, others wanted it to be shortened.

It had protections in place to mitigate the risk of AI discriminating against people in healthcare, education and housing, while also trying to criminalize “deepfake” porn. There was much work to be done, but ultimately Governor Lamont’s proposal was torpedoed. The effort will continue to find common ground in Connecticut.

Colorado is trying to respond to AI while Connecticut has failed

Meanwhile, in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis is under increasing pressure to pursue a similar approach.

The tech industry is working hard to ensure that the Democratic figurehead rejects his own party’s proposed law. A key argument is that a federal approach is the wrong solution.

Colorado is trying to learn and adapt where Connecticut’s plans failed, but pressure is growing on lawmakers as other states watch.

“I fear it will completely stifle innovation from small businesses like mine. “I just don’t understand why we’re rushing legislation,” said Kyle Shannon, founder of Colorado-based AI Salon.

In response, Brianna Titone, a co-sponsor of the bill, stated, “We had to start in one place and build a foundation, which is what I think this bill really does.” It’s the first step in a long conversation we’re having with the tech industry and will lead to the legislature.”

Governor Polis has until June 7 to decide on the bill.

Photo credit: Ideogram

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