State legislatures confront challenges in regulating artificial intelligence

(MENAFN) The nascent attempts to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) programs, which wield significant influence in critical areas like hiring, housing, and healthcare decisions for millions of Americans, are encountering formidable challenges across state legislatures. Of the seven bills introduced with the aim of curbing AI's propensity for discriminatory practices in consequential decision-making processes, only one has successfully passed, with Colorado Governor Jared Polis reluctantly signing it into law.

The legislative efforts in Colorado, as well as those in Washington, Connecticut, and elsewhere, have encountered opposition from multiple quarters. These battles pit civil rights advocates against the tech industry, while lawmakers grapple with the complexities of regulating a technology that remains largely opaque to many. Moreover, governors are apprehensive about potentially stifling innovation or becoming outliers among states, thereby unsettling AI startups.

Governor Polis's decision to sign Colorado's bill came with reservations, reflecting concerns about stifling AI innovation. The bill, with a two-year window before it takes effect, allows for alterations and improvements in the interim. Polis urged lawmakers to refine the legislation significantly before its implementation.

The Colorado proposal, along with its counterparts in other states, introduces intricate measures mandating companies to assess the risk of discrimination inherent in their AI systems and to inform consumers when AI is involved in making significant decisions that affect them. These efforts are distinct from the broader landscape of AI-related legislation, which has seen over 400 bills debated this year, focusing on specific aspects of AI usage such as deepfake technology in elections or pornography.  



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