Suddenly, everyone wants to talk about how to regulate AI

Final week, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman appeared earlier than a US Senate committee to speak in regards to the dangers and potential of AI language fashions. Altman, together with many senators, referred to as for worldwide requirements for synthetic intelligence. He additionally urged the US to control the expertise and arrange a brand new company, very similar to the Meals and Drug Administration, to control AI. 

For an AI coverage nerd like myself, the Senate listening to was each encouraging and irritating. Encouraging as a result of the dialog appears to have moved previous selling wishy-washy self-regulation and on to guidelines that would really maintain firms accountable. Irritating as a result of the talk appears to have forgotten the previous five-plus years of AI coverage. I simply revealed a narrative taking a look at all the prevailing worldwide efforts to control AI expertise. You possibly can learn it right here. 

I’m not the one one who feels this manner. 

“To recommend that Congress begins from zero simply performs into the trade’s favourite narrative, which is that Congress is up to now behind and doesn’t perceive expertise—how might they ever regulate us?” says Anna Lenhart, a coverage fellow on the Institute for Information Democracy and Coverage at George Washington College, and a former Hill staffer. 

Actually, politicians within the final Congress, which ran from January 2021 to January 2023, launched a ton of laws round AI. Lenhart put collectively this neat listing of all of the AI rules proposed throughout that point. They cowl the whole lot from danger assessments to transparency to information safety. None of them made it to the president’s desk, however on condition that buzzy (or, to many, scary) new generative AI instruments have captured Washington’s consideration, Lenhart expects a few of them to be revamped and make a reappearance in a single kind or one other. 

Listed here are a number of to keep watch over. 

Algorithmic Accountability Act

This invoice was launched by Democrats within the US Congress and Senate in 2022, pre-ChatGPT, to deal with the tangible harms of automated decision-making methods, equivalent to ones that denied individuals ache medicines or rejected their mortgage purposes. 

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