This quarterly update highlights key legislative, regulatory, and litigation developments in the fourth quarter of 2023 and early January 2024 related to technology issues. These included developments related to artificial intelligence (“AI”), connected and automated vehicles (“CAVs”), data privacy, and cybersecurity. As noted below, some of these developments provide companies with the opportunity for participation and comment.
I. Artificial Intelligence
Federal Executive Developments on AI
The Executive Branch and U.S. federal agencies had an active quarter, which included the White House’s October 2023 release of the Executive Order (“EO”) on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence. The EO declares a host of new actions for federal agencies designed to set standards for AI safety and security; protect Americans’ privacy; advance equity and civil rights; protect vulnerable groups such as consumers, patients, and students; support workers; promote innovation and competition; advance American leadership abroad; and effectively regulate the use of AI in government. The EO builds on the White House’s prior work surrounding the development of responsible AI. Concerning privacy, the EO sets forth a number of requirements for the use of personal data for AI systems, including the prioritization of federal support for privacy-preserving techniques and strengthening privacy-preserving research and technologies (e.g., cryptographic tools). Regarding equity and civil rights, the EO calls for clear guidance to landlords, Federal benefits programs, and Federal contractors to keep AI systems from being used to exacerbate discrimination. The EO also sets out requirements for developers of AI systems, including requiring companies developing any foundation model “that poses a serious risk to national security, national economic security, or national public health and safety” to notify the federal government when training the model and provide results of all red-team safety tests to the government.
Federal Legislative Activity on AI
Congress continued to evaluate AI legislation and proposed a number of AI bills, though none of these bills are expected to progress in the immediate future. For example, members of Congress continued to hold meetings on AI and introduced bills related to deepfakes, AI research, and transparency for foundational models.
- Deepfakes and Inauthentic Content: In October 2023, a group of bipartisan senators released a discussion draft of the NO FAKES Act, which would prohibit persons or companies from producing an unauthorized digital replica of an individual in a performance or hosting unauthorized digital replicas if the platform has knowledge that the replica was not authorized by the individual depicted.
- Research: In November 2023, Senator Thune (R-SD), along with five bipartisan co-sponsors, introduced the Artificial Intelligence Research, Innovation, and Accountability Act (S. 3312), which would require covered internet platforms that operate generative AI systems to provide their users with clear and conspicuous notice that the covered internet platform uses generative AI.
- Transparency for Foundational Models: In December 2023, Representative Beyer (D-VA-8) introduced the AI Foundation Model Act (H.R. 6881), which would direct the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to establish transparency standards for foundation model deployers in consultation with other agencies. The standards would require companies to provide consumers and the FTC with information on a model’s training data and mechanisms, as well as information regarding whether user data is collected in inference.
- Bipartisan Senate Forums: Senator Schumer’s (D-NY) AI Insight Forums, which are a part of his SAFE Innovation Framework, continued to take place this quarter. As part of these forums, bipartisan groups of senators met multiple times to learn more about key issues in AI policy, including privacy and liability, long-term risks of AI, and national security.