Last week, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman appeared before a US Senate committee to talk about the risks and potential of AI language models. Altman, along with several senators, called for international standards for artificial intelligence. He also urged the US to regulate the technology and set up a new agency like the Food and Drug Administration to regulate AI.
For an AI policy nerd like me, the Senate hearing was both encouraging and frustrating. Encouraging as it seems the conversation has moved on from promoting pointless self-regulation and to rules that can actually hold companies accountable. It is frustrating because the debate seems to have forgotten the last five-plus years of AI policy. I just published a story looking at all the current international efforts to regulate AI technology. You can read it here.
I’m not the only one who feels this way.
“To suggest that Congress start from zero plays into the industry’s favorite narrative that Congress is far behind and doesn’t understand technology – how can they control us?” Anna Lenhart, a policy fellow at the Data Democracy and Policy Institute at George Washington University and a former Hill staffer.
In fact, in the last Congress that ran from January 2021 to January 2023, politicians introduced a lot of legislation around AI. lenhart kept it together Clean list of all AI rules proposed during that time. They cover everything from risk assessment to data protection to transparency. None of them made it to the president’s desk, but given that the buzzy (or, for many people, scary) new generative AI tools have caught Washington’s attention, Lenhart hopes to see some of them get a facelift. Will be given and reappeared in one form or another.
Here are a few to keep an eye on.
Algorithm Accountability Act
it was bill City: Pre-CHAGPT, by Democrats in the US Congress and Senate in 2022, to address tangible harms of automated decision-making systems, such as denying people painkillers or denying their mortgage applications.