Connecticut State Senate passes AI bill

The Connecticut State Senate recently passed an AI bill over the Governor’s objection. The Bill seeks to create rules and regulations for AI developers, prevent bias in AI, protect elections from AI misuse, and educate the general public about the use of AI. 

The debate: supremacy and business growth

The main focus of the debate over the Act revolves around two factors. The first factor is whether the states should be regulating these issues or whether it should be left to the federal government. The bill’s supporters compare AI regulation to data privacy legislation, which in the United States is primarily regulated by the states.

The second issue raised by the bill’s detractors is whether this will unduly stifle the growing AI industry.  The bill’s supporters again compare this bill to data privacy laws and cite the problems created by the delayed enactment of the data privacy laws. 

Goals and potential impact of the Act

The Act has a number of important goals that can be separated into three categories. First, it seeks to establish AI governance systems to eliminate bias and promote ethical AI. This includes the creation of an Artificial Intelligence Advisory Council. Second, it seeks to avoid election interference through the use of deepfakes and other synthetic images. Third, it seeks to educate the public about AI through workforce training programs and other classes for the public. 

The legislators removed a requirement for AI developers to provide detailed technical information to the Attorney General or the State Department of Consumer Protection. As part of the Act, AI developers would need to label applications that use AI. 

Who would be covered by the Act?

The Act has an extraterritorial scope and would be enforced on any company that does business in the state of Connecticut. However, it appears that healthcare organizations are largely exempt from the legislation.

When will the Act take effect?

The Act now goes to the Connecticut House of Representatives. If the bill passes it will have a phased implementation. The first deadlines for compliance will begin on July 1, 2024. The entire Act will be effective by February 2026.

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