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Advancing Ahead: Senate Leaders Unveil AI Policy Roadmap

The US Senate’s Bipartisan AI Policy Roadmap, eagerly awaited by DC IP Lawyers and others, is set to shape the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in the United States over the next decade. This comprehensive guide builds on AI research, investigations, and hearings conducted by Senate committees during the 118th Congress. It identifies areas of consensus to help policymakers establish ground rules for AI use and development across various sectors.

Covering intellectual property reforms, substantial funding for AI research, sector-specific rules, and transparent model testing, the roadmap addresses a wide range of AI-related issues. Despite the anticipation surrounding the AI roadmap, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a key architect of the document, is expected to defer to Senate committees to draft individual bills impacting AI policy in the US.

Over 150 experts, including developers, startups, hardware and software companies, civil rights groups, and academia, contributed to this inclusive document. As the 118th Congress continues, Sen. Schumer will collaborate with the US House of Representatives to establish foundational rules for AI use and development, potentially influencing global AI policy.

Key provisions of the roadmap include:

Publicity Rights (Name, Image, and Likeness) The roadmap suggests considering legislation to protect against the unauthorized use of individuals’ publicity rights in the context of AI. Federal recognition of these rights would significantly impact intellectual property law, benefiting musicians, celebrities, politicians, and other public figures.

Disclosure and Transparency Requirements To address the opaque nature of some AI systems, the roadmap encourages lawmakers to ensure regulators can access necessary information to enforce consumer protection and civil rights laws. It also suggests placing transparency requirements on “high risk” AI uses, potentially impacting constitutional rights, public safety, or anti-discrimination laws.

Sector-Specific Rules for AI The document pushes for sector-specific rules in areas like housing, healthcare, education, financial services, news, and content creation.

Increased Funding for AI Innovation Following the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence’s (NSCAI) report, the roadmap urges at least $32 billion in AI research funding at federal agencies. This investment aims to position federal agencies as “AI ready” and includes funding for the CHIPS and Science Act, semiconductor research, IT infrastructure modernization, and developing AI capacity in the Department of Defense.

Investments in National Defense To compete globally, especially against China, the roadmap includes leveraging AI to build a digital armed services workforce, enhance security clearance processes, and counter censorship and surveillance by adversaries.

Addressing AI in Political Ads Anticipating the 2024 election cycle, the roadmap suggests watermarking AI-generated political ads and including disclaimers to address potential AI-related threats in elections.

Privacy and Legal Liability for AI Usage The roadmap recommends passing a federal data privacy law addressing data minimization, security, consumer rights, consent, and the role of data brokers. This aligns with state privacy laws and bipartisan legislation like the American Privacy Rights Act.

As additional legislative activities unfold, DC IP Lawyers and other stakeholders will see these guidelines profoundly impact the AI industry and society.

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