report on artificial intelligence
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The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) recently published a report examining key policy considerations for artificial intelligence regulation and discussing AI’s future in financial services, healthcare, and education. Entitled “Approaches to Regulating Artificial Intelligence: A Primer” and developed with help from NCSL’s Task Force on Cybersecurity and Privacy Work Group, the report underscores the need for informed and collaborative efforts to harness the benefits of AI while ensuring responsible and ethical usage.

The NCSL task force, a group of 34 state legislators, is the latest in a movement of policymakers seeking to take action at the state level and rectify Congress’ lack of progress on AI regulation. Over the past year, 14 states have enacted AI-related measures, and an additional 15 have introduced legislation, many of them focused on forming research committees to study and monitor AI systems. According to the report, Texas, North Dakota, and West Virginia have all recently instituted AI advisory councils responsible for investigating artificial intelligence systems devised or utilized by state entities.

Report on Artificial Intelligence Lays Out Suggestions

As policymakers strive to find realistic and sensible methods for establishing a secure digital space for the public, the report sets forth various approaches to AI regulation. Suggestions include:

  • The sector-specific approach proposes addressing narrow, targeted, and well-defined legislative concerns, like the prohibition of AI usage specifically in hiring practices.
  • The regulatory refinement approach proposes delaying new regulations and instead utilizing existing statutes to monitor algorithms that are used to make “consequential decisions” in already-regulated areas like worker management, education, housing, and banking.
  • The cross-cutting approach proposes enacting laws to prevent algorithmic discrimination, require disclosure of AI usage to the public, and assess the impact of technologies across all sectors.
  • The data-focused approach proposes enacting legislation centered on data minimization and intellectual property protection.

The primer also urges legislators to develop standardized language for legislating artificial intelligence. Kentucky Sen. Whitney Westerfield (R), a task force member, said, “Using a common vocabulary and understanding the potency of the rewards, and the risks, of the applications for AI is critical for state legislators. This report will serve as a guiding document for policymakers to start thinking about how they want to address this emerging technology while prioritizing data privacy and security.”

In addition, the NCSL’s new report provides deeper insight into the benefits and risks associated with artificial intelligence. The task force finds that AI could enhance decision-making and fraud detection in finance, improve data-based threat detection in national defense, and improve disease diagnosis and patient care in the healthcare sector. At the same time, the report highlights the challenges inherent in artificial intelligence, including the ethical concerns associated with biased training data, job displacement, cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and data privacy.

The full report can be read online here.

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