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2024, AI, and the Harnessing of the Wild West

2024, AI, and the Harnessing of the Wild West

January 10, 2024

2024, AI, and the Harnessing of the Wild West

By: Nicole Kardell

We are writing a lot about artificial intelligence these days… but then there is a lot to say on the topic.  AI is making headlines in terms of legal battles and legislative developments.  At the end of 2023, the New York Times filed suit against Microsoft and OpenAI for copyright infringement based upon alleged unauthorized use of their copyrighted works to build the popular ChatGPT.  And according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than half the U.S. states introduced artificial intelligence bills in 2023, fifteen of which adopted resolutions or enacted legislation.  2024 should see a push in the momentum of legal authorities to regulate AI.  The level of proposed oversight and enforcement is staggering.  For a sampling:

Both at the federal and state level, proposed legislation addressing AI is so extensive that many outside sources have added legislative trackers to their websites (while there historically are a number of various legislative trackers, the number and content of AI trackers is on a new level). These include non-profit watchdogs like the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the American Action Forum (AAF).

The EPIC tracker, a state bill tracker, identifies dozens of state bills addressing AI regulation at various levels.  An illustrative example of a comprehensive proposed state law is a bill introduced in the Massachusetts state legislature on December 28 (S.B. 31) that would impose standards for large-scale generative AI models (defined under the bill as “a machine learning model with a capacity of at least one billion parameters that generates text or other forms of output, such as ChatGPT”).

The AAF tracker, a federal bill tracker, currently includes over 60 proposed laws at the national level that address in some capacity AI regulation.  In the absence of comprehensive federal legislation addressing AI, the Biden Administration has entered its hat in the fray of regulating AI through the Executive Branch with an Executive Order published last October (we recently wrote about it here).

Other agencies under the Executive Branch are actively pursuing AI regulation.  The Federal Trade Commission announced a virtual summit on AI that will take place later this month.  The FTC also is likely to start cracking down on fraudulent voice cloning.  The Commission issued a release on a voice cloning challenge on January 2 as it aims to protect consumers; this follows earlier releases on the topic, indicating this is an area where we will see activity.

A sure-fire theme for 2024: everyone wants in on AI – companies want to learn how to integrate it into their business processes to maximize efficiencies; individuals want to adopt for any number of reasons (according to advertisers on LinkedIn , I can use ChatGPT to become a rainmaker…who knew?!), and government authorities want to hold the reigns.  In the early 2000s, we thought the Internet was the virtual Wild West.  Little did we know, it was just the horse to take us there.

Nicole Kardell

Nicole Kardell

Nicole is a certified privacy professional with expertise in European privacy law (CIPP/E), in particular the GDPR. She helps companies to navigate the changing face of privacy regulations and to keep their business practices and partnerships in compliance with the law both domestically and abroad.

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