Is It Time to Regulate AI?
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is on the rise, and so are the calls for regulation. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the country’s largest pro-business lobbying group, recently released a report on generative AI, urging lawmakers to regulate the technology to ensure its responsible and ethical deployment. The report notes that for citizens to benefit from AI, they must trust it. While projections indicate that AI will contribute trillions of dollars to the global economy by 2030, the report warns that without regulation, there could be harm to both the economy and individuals.
The chamber calls for a “risk-based approach” to regulating AI, without offering many specifics on what that would entail. Instead, the report suggests that Congress should focus on regulating the applications and outcomes of AI rather than putting roadblocks on the technology itself. However, this approach fails to address some of the main concerns people have with AI.
One of the biggest controversies in the AI world is how modern AI models are trained on data scraped from the Internet without users’ permission. The artist community has been particularly outraged that their work has been used to train generative AI models. For example, Spawning.ai, which runs the site haveibeentrained.com, has opted out 78 million artworks for AI training after receiving requests to remove them from their datasets. While some companies have pledged to abide by opt-out requests, it remains to be seen whether others will follow suit.
Another concern is how major tech companies plan to use websites and users’ data to train AI. While OpenAI has promised not to use companies’ data when they purchase the new ChatGPT API, regular users should expect that any information they input into the AI prompt will be used for training purposes. Without digital privacy laws, users’ data is likely to be misused.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce report also fails to delve into what AI technology is and how it operates, which could prove problematic for a Congress that is largely tech-illiterate. This is especially concerning given that the number of tech companies adopting AI has risen exponentially since the start of the year. With more companies employing AI onto their platforms, the chamber’s projection that AI will be employed in every facet of daily life within a decade is likely to come true.
Despite the growing concerns, there is currently no federal regulation for AI in the United States. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has a strong anti-regulatory stance, has previously mentioned the need for regulation in the crypto industry. It has also launched a bipartisan commission on AI, but so far, Congress has been slow to act on the issue. California Rep. Ted Lieu has suggested the creation of a new AI commission to provide recommendations on how existing agencies can regulate the technology. However, there has been no legislation proposed to curb AI’s dangers.
AI technology has spread rapidly in just the past three months, with many tech companies trying to incorporate it into their systems. While AI has captured the world’s attention, there is a need for more than just “risk-based” regulation to make it a fair technology for anyone putting their work online. The AI industry needs meaningful and comprehensive regulation to ensure that it is used ethically and responsibly.
More Work Needed
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce report is a step in the right direction, but it falls short of providing meaningful solutions. There is a need for more specific regulations that address the concerns of the public and the artistic community and provide clear guidelines for the use of AI. The government should work with experts in the AI field to create legislation that promotes responsible and ethical deployment of the technology, while also allowing for innovation and growth in the industry. Only then can we truly reap the benefits of AI while ensuring that it does not harm individuals or the economy.
Jillian Harman is owner of Hyperion Design and Publishing, a full-service creative studio, which also publishes this magazine. She has 30+ years of experience in technology, design, and marketing. Find out how you can contribute articles and let readers know more about your industry expertise. Contact email@example.com.