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How Does the US Approach AI Regulations?

The White House has been contemplating the idea of regulating AI over the past few months. However, there is much to be done before composing regulations.


The US is lagging behind in AI regulation
Creator: lucky-photographer, Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto, Copyright: DMITRY VINOGRADOV

WASHINGTON - The rapid development of AI has been a hot topic for the US government. Over the past few months, the White House has been discussing AI regulations. In the first half of 2023, there have been numerous hearings on the matter, discussing the applicability of AI regulation bills. 


The Biden administration has been listening to the AI companies, as well as academics working on AI and civil society groups. Vice President Kamala Harris personally met with the chief executives of tech giants like Microsoft, Google, OpenAI, and Anthropic to discuss safety in the AI industry.


AI Regulations & Industry

 

As a result of this work, seven of the largest American tech companies, Amazon, Anthropic, Google, Inflection, Meta, Microsoft and OpenAI, formally agreed on a set of rules to follow. The rules were determined by the Biden Administration and aimed to manage the risks of AI. 


Announcing the new agreement, President Biden stated:

“We must be clear and vigilant about the threats emerging from emerging technologies that can pose — don’t have to but can pose — to our democracy and values. This is a serious responsibility; we have to get it right. And there’s enormous, enormous potential upside as well.”

The US is Lagging Behind Europe


While this may seem promising, the US AI regulation process remains in its early stages. All the effort spent on the idea of an AI regulation is far from a proper bill since the subject of AI is very fluid and difficult to capture in detail. 


Deputy director at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, Caitriona Fitzgerald, spoke to the New York Times about the agreement of the seven tech giants and stated:


“Voluntary commitments are not enough when it comes to Big Tech. Congress and federal regulators must put meaningful, enforceable guardrails in place to ensure the use of AI is fair, transparent and protects individuals’ privacy and civil rights.” 


Considering Europe’s standing with AI, Fitzgerald is right to push for more than a voluntary commitment. Earlier this year, European lawmakers came together to prepare to enact an AI law, where they introduce restrictions on the technology’s riskiest use cases. Whereas in the US, there seem to be a lot of disagreements about the correct approach to handling this technology.


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