Lawmakers Issue Warning To Biden Over AI

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – A group of state attorney generals have raised concerns about a presidential executive order issued by President Biden last year regarding artificial intelligence (AI). They argue that this order might enable the federal government to exert undue control over AI development, potentially for political purposes, such as regulating content under the guise of combating “disinformation.”

Led by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, the 20 attorneys general expressed their apprehensions in a communication to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. They contend that the executive order seeks to centralize control over AI without proper authorization from Congress, potentially stifling innovation and favoring established tech giants.

The executive order, signed by Biden in October, aims to set new safety standards for AI, emphasizing privacy protection and the safeguarding of workers and consumers. It mandates that developers disclose safety test results and other relevant information to the government, particularly for AI models that pose significant risks.

The White House has articulated that these measures are designed to ensure AI systems are reliable and secure before public release and to protect citizens from AI-enabled fraud by establishing criteria to distinguish between AI-generated and genuine content.

However, the attorneys general argue that the executive order imposes a burdensome oversight role on the Commerce Department, requiring AI developers to navigate a complex and non-transparent regulatory process. They fear this could hinder AI innovation and entrench the dominance of large tech companies.

Moreover, the coalition is concerned about the potential for government overreach and the influence of political motives in the supervision of AI, especially regarding measures to address “disinformation.” They assert that such a stance could lead to censorship and infringe on democratic principles.

The attorneys general also question the authority granted by the Defense Production Act, arguing it does not extend to regulating AI development but merely encourages its production. They urge Secretary Raimondo to ensure that any regulatory actions related to AI adhere to constitutional and democratic norms, emphasizing that executive decisions should not bypass the legislative process.

Attorney General Reyes emphasized the need for any AI regulation to be constitutional, avoid government censorship, and respect congressional authority. The attorneys general pledge to monitor the implementation of the executive order closely to safeguard the rule of law.

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