Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Policymakers Can Use the Tools We Have Now to Guide Artificial Intelligence
Press Release

RELEASE: Policymakers Can Use the Tools We Have Now to Guide Artificial Intelligence

Washington, D.C. — Rapid developments in artificial intelligence (AI) applications have been accompanied by increasing public alarm, with urgent calls for lawmakers to slow the pace of development and meet the moment with legislative and regulatory action.

A new analysis from the Center for American Progress argues that a “pause” in generative AI development is not necessary or feasible and that there are laws and principles already in place to help steer emerging technologies onto a path that benefits society. These existing frameworks may in fact provide the quickest response.

Some recent examples:

  • The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued guidance on how the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 applies to employers using AI to prevent them from screening out applicants and employees with disabilities.
  • Last month, the U.S. Copyright Office issued guidance that it will not register works lacking “human authorship” based on existing federal law.
  • In Europe, Italy’s data protection authority invoked the 2018 General Data Protection Regulation to ban OpenAI’s ChatGPT until developers can provide transparency about its data collection, processing, and use practices.

“We do not have to rewrite the social compact with the release of each new chatbot or future AI application,” writes Alondra Nelson, a distinguished senior fellow at CAP who helped lead the Biden Administration’s development of a Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights. “But we do need policy innovation: We can start today with the tools we have now.”

The analysis points out that existing laws and policies may not address all the new issues that may arise with generative AI, including possible worker displacement, the potential for spreading disinformation, or reports of chatbot content that is defamatory.

But it does offer legislators and regulators some creative ways to respond more quickly to these rapid changes while more substantive rules are put into place. And it issues a call to action for more Americans to use existing rights frameworks to question and engage with policymaking around AI.

Read the analysis: “AI is Having a Moment—and Policymakers Cannot Squander the Opportunity to Act” by Alondra Nelson

For more information, or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at [email protected].

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